Confidence or Arrogance --
How can you determine the difference?
Throughout my 54 years as a Christian, I have hit upon some ideas that beg for an answer to satisfy my curious and processing mind. Sometimes I get some resolution…sometimes not. When I hit on a thought or make an observation, my mind and heart go into overdrive as I study, think, pray and ask for wisdom.
Here are three of the questions and puzzles I have wrestled with through the years.
- How can we have a free will and God be sovereignly in control at the same time?
- Why is it that so many Christians don’t seem to grow, mature and become transformed even though they are sitting under some of the best preachers and teachers in the world
- What role does obedience play in the Christian life? If everything is of grace in salvation and sanctification and has nothing to do with human effort or what I may bring to the table, where does obedience fit in?
Last week I had a meal with a very successful young businessman. Even though he is in his early 30s, he has already achieved more than most do in a lifetime of work. He is very confident in who he is. He has an incredible work ethic and possesses a very winsome personality. He is certainly heading toward being the CEO of something before he is 40. I told him to be very careful of becoming proud/arrogant due to how fast he is rising and how gifted he is. He said he would give that some very concentrated thought and prayer.
As we were eating I asked him several questions:
- What is the difference between being confidence and being arrogant?
- How might confidence morph into arrogance?
- What is the difference between God-confidence and self-Confidence?
It says in 1 Peter 5:5,6 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (ESV).
No thinking Christian wants to be opposed by God, and yet this verse says God opposes the proud.
I remember many years ago, listening to a very well known Christian leader whom I felt exhibited amazing confidence in his message, his gifting and his work. Someone else listening to the same man called him arrogant. That experience was the first time I began to wrestle with the difference between confidence and arrogance.
Admittedly and intentionally I have not provided answers to these important questions.
How about you, the reader of this post, using the comment section below, providing some answers to the three questions above? Let’s get a good dialogue going on a very important topic.