by: Robert H. Schuller
I’m the other Robert Schuller. God never gives up.
He tried one, if you can’t do it good enough, He
bring in another one. The second one doesn’t good
enough He’s going to be sure he has a third chance
down the road. Well thank you for coming today. I have
an interesting message for you. I’m beginning with
a question: what is the greatest human need in every person
in the world today? From birth to death what is the greatest
human need? When you’re born you need it, when you’re
dying your last breath if you know it, you’re going
to need it. In one word, its confidence. The newborn infant
has no confidence. Dr. Erik Erikson taught us the newborn
infant has no trust, no faith. The suckling of the breast
is purely biological. You need confidence. In our failures,
we need confidence. How can we make it again? In our success
we need it. Need the confidence that we’re not going
to waste it or be exploited or hurt more than helped.
you need it, making these decisions, choosing the marketing.
In business and in politics! If you watch television I
think you can see it in action these days. Confidence.
The democrats need it, the republicans need it, the independents
need it, the capitalists need it, the socialists need
it. Everybody who is making decisions needs it. Are they
right? Are they wrong? Should they wait? Is this the right
In relationships and in arrangements we need confidence.
The ultimate point of success in relationships is the
level to which the two persons are secure or insecure,
and hence defensive or creative. We need it in relationships
and we need it in agreements. When we decided to buy this
ten acres on which this building stands, I simply wrote
out a page and a half letter, sent it to the owner, talked
about it on the phone. He said that’ll do fine.
Okay, I read the whole page and a half to him, just sign
your name. I did. He said I’ll sign it and send
it back to you. When I got it back from him, it was about
an inch and a half. Covering insecurities, un-predictables.
Possibilities that are negative. Are you with me? What
do we all need and when do we need it? We need it all
the time and what we all need is confidence. You can’t
make a mistake here. Wow.
I was reading
the other day about the Cologne Cathedral. It was built
in 1225 or 1280; I think I made a note of it here. It
really doesn’t matter, it’s so close. 1285,
the architect completed all of the plans and millennial
details. And the fortunate thing is they were all finished
before he died, the Cathedral started and it was under
construction for about I think 40 years when suddenly
construction stopped. And then someone came along and
they said let’s work on it some more, let’s
finish it. And they worked on it. And then it went into
the silent ages where there was no money then. And the
people changed. People wanted it, loved it, respected
it and gave their life and their money to it. They’re
all dead! Everybody sitting in this cathedral this morning,
you’re going to be gone, every one of us a hundred
years from now. Who will sit in these pews? I don’t
know. How will they maintain the grounds? My goal is to
build at least a five hundred billion dollar endowment,
controlled by trustees who won’t allow mortgages
on this place. We have to think, think deep, think long,
Then they picked
it up again and finally it was in 1880, I believe the
date is right, in 1880 it was finished! Both spires, the
most beautiful pair of spires of any building on planet
earth. A world heritage site and I was there with my wife
shortly after the war and they had replaced the one steeple
with another steeple that didn’t match. They’ve
corrected that. But we walked the steps. There are 590
steps from the ground level to the top of the spire.
Now go back
two thousand years to a man who had no study in sociology,
psychology or philosophy. He was teaching it way back
then, his name was St. Paul. He answered the question:
what is the single human need? Need it more than anything
else in any human being living on planet earth. Philippians
1:6, he wrote these words, “Be confident”
wow, what an insight into humanity. “Be confident
in this one thing,” he said. “That God who
began a good work in you” yeah he got it started,
he chose a father and a mother, male and a female, husband
and a wife. And He chose the mix in that recipe. And it
was a little different than any other recipe He’d
ever baked in an oven before. And never been another one
just like you or me, never will be. “Be confident
that God who has begun a good work in you.” You
didn’t ask any more. He didn’t seek your approval
for the first six months or the first three years, and
didn’t give you a chance to change it if you didn’t
like it. “Be confident in this one thing that God
who has begun a good work in you will complete it.”
Will complete it. That means our lives aren’t finished.
God isn’t finished with us yet. No He has something.
Oh and the word confident, let me read it from the dictionary.
Number one definition is faith. Trust. To all the secularists
who live and advocate living without spiritual viewpoints
or religious attitudes, the human being at his deepest
level, needs to be the kind of a mental healthy person
that has the capacity to experience confidence! Yeah.
You need confidence when you’re in the wedding chapel.
Or the courtroom. You even need confidence when you drive
in California, at least. Trust. You’re not born
with it. Dr. Erik Erikson, one of the greatest lessons
I learned in life was the coming of Erik Erikson, who
taught us that every human being is born without faith.
Without trust. And you’re born to face challenges
as an individual from infancy until your death and along
the way at every stage you better become a confident creature.
You look through the glass you see a newborn baby. You’re
going to be a father. You are a father. Now what do you
need? Confidence. Can you handle it? When you go to your
child’s graduation from high school, cap and gown,
you look at them with pride, where’s he going? What’s
he going to do? How’s he going to do it? You look
up and pray. You need confidence!
The second definition in Webster’s dictionary, it’s
a feeling or a consciousness that you can have power over
the circumstances that you find yourself surrounded with.
Third definition, Webster’s definition of confidence:
the quality of being assured that you can handle the uncertainties
of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Short word for that
sentence is you need faith.
Or the last definition, its ease under stress. How much
problem do we have with stress today? It’s at the
top of the scale? Why? We need confidence! I don’t
care what your profession is; the doctor’s need
it when they offer their prescriptions. They’re
dealing with a human being. And a doctor needs it, especially
when he enters fully capped and gowned, face covered,
gloved into the operating room, major surgery. And the
patient waiting needs it. Will it work? Can the doctor
make it happen?
You need it in the wedding chapel. Oh you mean it sincerely
when you say for better for worse. Can you have the confidence
that you can see it through until death do us part. And
if things don’t work out; you need it in the courtroom.
Who do you hire? What advice do they give you? Just read
the daily paper or listen to the news, wherever you get
it and the bottom line is you can’t live without
self-confidence. It is essential. What makes a person
a person? A doctor needs it, a lawyer surely needs it,
those in legislation and those in the judicial departments
they sure need it. Confidence. They’re making the
it. So does the consumer. Why would God Almighty, you
want to say if you don’t believe, why would a creative
or a non creative force somehow cause a human being to
be what he is? I have absolute assurance that we are created
by a divine power called God because this part of a human
being, which is neither flesh or bone or blood or hair,
its all personality to his spirit. It’s psychi.
That part of what makes a person a person apart from all
other creatures, that person called human needs confidence.
Yeah. Where would that have evolved from? You can’t
find a creature that this kind of a human personality
can just evolve from. We were created different and distinctive.
Why was a human being born, created to live under the
pressure of confidence, challenging positions of life.
You need it. Why God created a creature that could not
have simply evolved. And I’m not arguing for or
against evolution, I’m just taking a scientific
analysis of who we are, what kind of creatures we are
and why were we created with something that we can’t
ever escape, not in our failure, we need confidence. Not
in our success, we need confidence. In our relationships
we need confidence. Why couldn’t He have created
a creature with a personality and a spirit that didn’t
need to deal with this challenge all the time, from birth
till death? The last thing, confidence, when you take
your last breath. Why? Because God created the human being
to be a creative creature. Now listen, very important.
You cannot be creative unless you have the absolute necessity
to develop a self-confidence that can make positive decisions.
It’s basic psychology. Humans are born to be creative
and you cannot be creative if you don’t have the
kind of a personality that knows how to make decisions
when you can’t be sure that they’re right.
But you have to make them. You cannot be creative; creativity
comes from a confident heart. And you say well, what if
they don’t have self-confidence? What then?
J. Wallace Hamilton has a book Where Now is Thy God where
he says Christ comes to save us from scattered, aimless
living. Without the confidence to make decisions and go
for it, you are not a complete human being. You are unfinished.
Be confident of this one thing that God who has begun
a good work in you will complete it! Oh, wow, this is
good news. Some of you need, before you complete your
life, you need the ability to be the kind of personality
that can be confident. Without it, Dr. Hamilton, you’re
doomed to scattered aimless living. God puts divine meaning
into the small and human tasks. God puts divine meaning
into whatever your profession is: the janitor or the preacher.
In little and big things you still need the confidence.
Is this what I should be doing? Am I doing it right? What
changes should I make? Do have some wrong answers? What
are they? Where should I change? From I can’t do
it to I can do it. From pessimism to optimism. Without
the capacity to have self-confidence in all of life, living
and dying, you’ll be living, no not optimistically
but pessimistically. And pessimism is a sickness. Pessimism
climbs no mountains. Pessimism doesn’t build bridges.
Pessimism doesn’t evoke dreams. Pessimism wins no
battles and discouragement sings no songs. We need it.
Well, where do we get it? From the God who made us dependent
upon having that kind of a mental attitude. God Almighty.
Think of St. Paul, think of it two thousand years ago,
no studies in anthropology or sociology or psychology,
insightful knowledge into the human being. He said, “Be
confident of this one thing, of this one thing.”
No, he didn’t say fame, no because fame is fleeting.
Be confident of this one thing. He did not say fortune;
fortunes rise and fall.
Now where are you today? A collection of human beings,
I wish I knew you all, I don’t and billions watching
on television from Australia to Hong Kong and Moscow,
billions around the world are hearing these words. And
not a single human being that hears these words can argue
or debate my point today. You nod your head. The one thing
we all need is confidence. Good times and bad times. Tough
times and triumphant times. In tough times, you need it
to say tough times never last but tough people do. Yeah.
Where do you get it? You get it in your faith. Your religion.
If you’re an atheist or an agnostic, hear me loud
and clear. What I say is so un-debate able, every person
needs confidence and confidence is a spiritual dimension
of life. You don’t measure it at the gym. You measure
it in your heart and your soul. Yeah. No way can you defend
atheism when we look at human beings who are the kind
of creatures we are, that only a God could have created
this in us. We can’t be taught it. We are not born
with it. There is no special psychological training; it
has to come from a spiritual communion with the Almighty.
You need the faith. Yeah, you need the confidence.
Accept Jesus as your Savior. Simple. And then live it.
And you’ll be challenged, yes, challenged to be
a Christ follower all your life. Hallelujah. Amen.