Proud or under-confident?
One of the most common objections to Christianity is that the Bible cannot be trusted because it is full of contradictions. The arguments surrounding the subject of Biblical inerrancy are still debated by Christians even thousands of years after the original texts were written.
It’s true that on first glance some Biblical books or verses clash with each other. Yet often there is a beauty to be found, trapped in between two ideas.
Do you find it difficult to read, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” and believe it? Do you believe you are loved, accepted, victorious, free, forgiven, and never alone?
The Bible says that those who are “In Christ” are all of these things. Such truths should give us great confidence.
And yet the Bible also warns about pride. Proverbs says, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” Those are strong words!
Writing to the Philippians, Paul says to “in humility count others more significant than yourselves” and James goes even further when he writes, “All boasting is evil”.
Should Christians be confident or humble? The answer to this either/or question is of course, “yes”.
We shouldn’t have to choose between confidence and humility. Both are admirable qualities.
But arrogance isn’t attractive, but neither is a lack of self-esteem. Forgive the ludicrously broad-brush stroke, but in my experience guys tend to suffer from man-pride while the ladies often lack confidence in who God made them to be.
Whether or not that observation matches up with your personal experience is irrelevant. The point is that we all suffer from wandering too closely to one of the two extremes of pride and lack of self-esteem.
Both ends of the spectrum are problematic. But each will require two very different answers.
To steal a phrase my wife often uses against me, the proud need to eat “Humble Crumble”! Man pride can often be verbally beaten out of us guys. But when someone lacks confidence, they need love and reassurance.
Whether you’re looking to date someone or are already in a relationship, most members of the opposite sex will tell you arrogance isn’t attractive. You aren’t God’s gift to men/women so stop acting like it. And when you are called out on your pride, don’t get defensive or you’ll prove the criticism to be true! Keep shtum, repent and move on.
On the flip side, a lack of self-esteem can prevent you from ever making the first move in a relationship. There’s no quick fix answers to this. But the first step is admitting that although you may not feel it, you are loved by God and by those close to you. All of us must choose to embrace the truth about ourselves.
In order to both live out our Christian faith and safeguard our emotional health, we must learn to be thankful for the remarkable and unique creations each of us are while also recognizing our flaws and shortcomings. We must also recognize our flaws and shortcomings while still delighting in the remarkable and unique creations that we are!