Confident Living = Creative Living (06 Apr 2008)

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

Bill & Pam Farrel

Special Music

Joyful, Joyful
Medley – Heav’n is Here/Sweet, Sweet Spirit
Prologue in Heaven

Solo/ Anthem
Sean Smith -Called Because I Can
Refuge and Strength

The Message

Message by: Robert H. Schuller

Good morning. 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.

In business 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 time?

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, think wise.

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. Wow.

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 right decision.

Business needs 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. Wow.

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.

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