I am going to start reposting achieved posts from my old blog on the first of each month.
The enemy thinks he can purify pride with Disney films and encouraging posters. Motivational books tell people they need more self-esteem in order to succeed. Many say, “If we only thought higher of ourselves we could accomplish more.” Just “believe in yourself” the cartoons say.
Yet, throughout the Bible God shows the dangers of pride:
- “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Pro. 11:2)
- “Pride leads to arguments; those who take advice are wise” (Pro. 13:10)
- “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall” (Pro. 16:18)
- “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” (Pro. 29:23)
Successful people are confident, however. People, who look at the ground, talk softly and never take risks rarely change the world. The question is, “from where should our confidence come?” God actively looks for humble hearts, for He knows that nothing can stop those who place their trust in Him alone. Confidence is crucial for success, but only trust in Christ is of any use for the Kingdom.
- Joseph – the jailbird
- Moses – the mumbler
- Gideon – the coward
- King David – the forgotten shepherd son
- Daniel – the slave
- Esther – the peasant girl
- Peter – the foot eater
These people had little confidence in themselves, but they changed the world. The enemy comes against the work of God by tricking us into believing in ourselves instead of in Jesus.
Look at the tower of Babble or the rich man who died in his sleep. These people had plenty of self-esteem. Nebuchadnezzar accomplished great acts; but when he got cocky, he ate grass like a cow.
The world needs you about as much as it needs another grain of sand at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. What it needs is Jesus. To the extent we allow Christ to shine through us is the extent in which we are able to change the world for Him. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
If Jesus said that he did nothing on his own (John 8:28), why do we think we can live differently? Jesus had no self-esteem in the way we think of it today. While Jesus was “in very nature God, [He] did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” (Phil. 2:6)
Take for example Romo the self-confident quarterback. His football talent and winning streak lead him to believe that he is a great player.
But, what if Romo misses a crucial throw causing a crushing defeat in a big game? Joe’s confidence drops as his failure grows. But, if he put his confidence in something or someone bigger then he will not be so easily shaken.
When we put our confidence in Christ then we can count it all joy when we fail because we know that Jesus will be glorified despite our best efforts. He won’t have to blame others for our failures as “self esteemers” often do. We can instead take the blame and then take the failure to Christ.
The world comes against Christians, tempting us to put on the tough skin of arrogance. This hardening of our hearts is just what the Bible speaks against. Pharoh’s hardened heart caused great pain for Egypt and the hard hearts of the Israelites caused continual judgment.
He who esteems himself is his own god.
He who esteems Jesus fulfills his purpose.
We can put our confidence in Jesus because He earned it on the cross. God may not use as many posters and movies as the world, but His truth is as good now as it was for King David who said, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”