As I was searching the Web recently, I ran across this story and it triggered this week’s Weekly Word. The story is from an article written by David Mathis with “Desiring God” Ministries.
“I was once told a story about a young man who was a first-year medical student. One weekend, he returned to his hometown to visit his father, who, due to unfortunate circumstances, had been recently admitted to an institution.
While there, the young man came across the people who were staying on his father’s floor. He struck up conversations with them, and they willingly shared the successes they had achieved, the places they had traveled, and the well-known people they had met. After every conversation, the young man knew everything about them.
They had also made sure he remembered their names before he left. How - ever, none of them asked for his name or what he did. The young man shrugged it off and assumed they knew he was his father’s son – the mayor’s son.
As he entered his father’s room, the young man declared, “Dad, these people are normal. There’s nothing wrong with them. I can’t understand why they are here.”
His father chuckled. He said, “Son, did you notice anything?”
The son shook his head no, trying to figure out what was amiss.
The father continued, “Son, ever since you got here, all they did was talk about themselves. We are all here because we can’t stop talking about ourselves.”
This story is not only humorous but also puts pride into perspective. Known as one of the deadliest sins, pride causes one to focus only on oneself while neglecting and devaluing others.
Pride vs. Confidence: The Delicate Balance in Light of Scripture
Pride and confidence have long been explored in religious texts, often offering profound insights into the human condition. While both pride and confidence are important elements of one's self-esteem and self-worth, understanding the differences between them is crucial in the light of biblical wisdom. These qualities can be viewed as two sides of the same coin, with humility as God’s antidote to excessive pride.
Here, we will delve into the nature of pride and confidence as presented in by scripture, the distinctions between them, and the vital role that humility plays in maintaining this delicate balance
Pride is often portrayed as a spiritual ailment that leads to spiritual downfall. Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." It’s a reminder that pride, rooted in an excessive focus on self-importance and self-sufficiency, can lead to a spiritual separation from God and hinder personal growth. When pride becomes all-consuming, it obscures one's relationship with Him and impairs our ability to extend love and compassion to others.
The key distinction between pride and confidence lies in their motivations. While pride often seeks recognition and validation from the world, confidence, when guided by scripture, seeks to glorify God and serve others with humility. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Confidence, grounded in biblical values, is not reliant on external validation but thrives in the knowledge that all is possible through God’s divine strength.
The Bible, in a multitude of passages, underscores the importance of humility as the antidote to excessive pride. Proverbs 22:4 tells us, "Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches, honor, and life." Humility is a recognition of one's limitations, an open heart to divine guidance, and an acknowledgment of the contributions of others. It allows individuals to celebrate their achievements with gratitude, without succumbing to the pitfalls of arrogance and self-centeredness.
The concepts of pride and confidence are enriched and illuminated by scripture. Pride, when excessive, can lead to separation and arrogance, while confidence, when rooted in faith, leads to divine alignment and service. The balance between these qualities is achieved through humility. Humility serves as God’s antidote to pride, keeping us grounded in our relationship with Him and open to the ever-evolving journey of spiritual growth and self-improvement, all for the glory of God and the service of others.