Do you ever find yourself looking up to or admiring a confident person? Their confidence could be in their job, a skill, parenting, cooking, a sport, a hobby, a subject, or life in general. They just seem to know everything and are confident on how things should be done. Over the years, God has brought into my life people that are confident. At first, I admire their expertise and confidence. Then at some point, I become intimidated by them. I feel inadequate and insignificant. Then as the years roll by, I recognize their shortcomings which are actually sins. Recently, the Lord revealed some eye-opening ideas concerning confident people.
My attraction to confident people comes from a view the world teaches and espouses. The world exalts confidence and sureness. Our humanness wants to be on the winning team so we are attracted to confident, ambitious people. However, some confident, ambitious people (such as Charles Manson and David Koresh) have led others deep into obvious sin. Other confident people have led others into less obvious sin. Confident people who lead others astray have found their confidence in themselves and their ways and not in the Lord. Recently, I realized my sin of exalting (in my mind) confident, ambitious people. I found that I was operating out of a worldly view and not a biblical view.
Confident, ambitious people may be consumed with pride. When I search the Scriptures, I find that God hates pride and opposes it (Proverbs 8:13; James 4:6). Pride manifests itself in anger, arrogance, deception, and self-exaltation (Psalm 10:4; Proverbs 8:13; Obadiah 3; Matthew 23:12). I am not attracted to those who exhibit confidence in themselves and thus are proud. They are repulsive. They could be compensating for some kind of inferiority they sense. So, I no longer tend to look up to them or are intimidated by them. I feel sorry for them and pray for them to be unblinded and have their deepest needs met.
Yet, God wanted to dig a little deeper in this area of confident, ambitious people. I ran across a list named, “The Heart God Revives” that details characteristics of proud people and broken (humble) people. Proud people focus on the failure of others, criticize, have to prove they are right, confident in how much they know, quick to blame others, defensive, find it hard to admit sin, and blind to their sin.
On the other hand, humble people are overwhelmed with their sin, compassionate, forgiving, give up the right to be right, know they have more to learn, accept responsibility, quick to admit sin, and open to God. Which list do you see yourself in? I found myself exhibiting characteristics of a proud person in certain relationships. Upon asking the Lord why am I proud towards certain people, I discovered it is usually proud people that I tend to behave in proud ways to.
Humility, the opposite of pride, is having the right view of ourselves which comes from God. When I saw the depths of my pride, I was devastated over my sins. At that point, I could be overwhelmed with the ugliness of who I am and get stuck in that view of myself. Or I could turn to God to get His view of me and apply the gospel. I found 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land,” instructive. So, I confessed my sin of pride, received God’s forgiveness, and looked to Him to grow me in replacing pride with humility. God delights in us coming to Him and allowing Him to work the gospel into our lives. Where do you think God wants to work the gospel into your life today?
In a future blog, I plan to explore the confidence that comes from the right source.
For your consideration: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s and Tim Grissom’s Bible study, Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival, Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2019 and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s book mark “The Heart God Revives,” Niles, MI: Revive Our Hearts.
Image from Thesaurus Plus, accessed October 26, 2021, https://thesaurus.plus/synonyms/confident.
 Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, “The Heart God Revives,” Revive Our Hearts, Niles, MI.