Are You Self-Confident or God Confident?

Category: Questions & Answers
Bible: Philippians 4:13, John 15:5

How do we remain humble when we accomplish something? How do we keep ourselves from self-confidence when our skills are put on display?

"Dear pastor, I've watched one of your videos where you taught the importance of remaining humble while living the Christian life. The problem I encounter is that when I understand that everything I have is from Christ and for Christ, when I accomplish something at my job which demonstrates my skills, for example, I kind of gain self-confidence, which is partially relying on myself. Can this lead to pride? Or how much relying on God is enough? Because certainly, there is an effort that we have to put in during our jobs, and should we even have self-confidence in some situations?" You kind of get the feeling. You have a guy that's asking himself this: Is it right for me to feel self-confidence or to have my self-confidence - even that word: self-confidence. "The problem I encounter is that when I understand that everything I have is from Christ and for Christ, when accomplishing something at my job, which demonstrates my skills, I find that I basically am becoming self-confident, which is partially relying on yourself." Now again, just because people say things in these letters doesn't mean that I accept what they say. For one thing, self-confidence is not partially relying on yourself. It's fully relying on yourself. That's what self-confidence is. The second thing I would say is this: He says "the problem I encounter is that when I understand that everything I have is from Christ..." He still goes on to have this self-confidence, which I would say means he doesn't really understand that everything is from Christ. You can say, "I understand it," but then the next thing you say shows that you don't understand it. And I would say this, that let's just think about Scripture here. Because there are numerous verses. Let me throw it to you guys. What are some Scriptures that basically indicate to us that it's not of us, it's of the Lord, no matter what we do? (from the room) Philippians 4:13. Tim: Which says? (from the room) I can do all things through Christ who empowers me, strengthens me. Tim: Right. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And what's implied there? The opposite, which, by the way, Jesus says in John 15. "Without Me, you can do nothing." Does that mean I can do absolutely nothing? Look, the reality is, without the Lord, you can't do anything. John the Baptist said something in John 3. Anybody remember that one? Kevin, can you quote that? (unintelligible) Tim: Say it again. Kevin: A man can only receive what is given him from heaven. Tim: "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it's given him from heaven." I would say this, what jumped out at me as I'm thinking about this is a text found in Romans 1. Let's turn there to that. Romans 1. We know, if we're familiar with Romans that Romans 1:18 begins to show us the terrible plight of fallen man. Somebody begin reading in 1:18. (from the room) "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." Tim: So they're unrighteous. They're ungodly. They suppress the truth that can be known about God. Keep reading. (from the room) "Because what may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it to them." Tim: All men have no excuse. (incomplete thought) There is more revelation in this world than just our Bibles. There is natural revelation. God has revealed Himself. Romans 1 says that God can be known - certain aspects of God; certain aspects of His attributes and His power can be known by the things that are created. But keep reading. (from the room) "For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse." Tim: Right. We see enough of God in the creation so that every man is without excuse. Now keep reading. (from the room) "Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful, but became futile..." Tim: Okay, stop right there. You see what happens? They recognize that there's a God. This guy recognizes there's a God. But then they don't give glory to God. And they don't give Him thanks. What's amazing is we're hearing the reasons as to why the wrath of God is being displayed and poured out. Why? Because men seek to suppress God, and they don't give Him thanks. You know what happened to Nebuchednezzar when he said, "Oh, great Babylon, look what I've done!" God doesn't take kindly to that. God's wrath is displayed because men don't attribute what they have to God. Listen, the Apostle Paul says this: I outran all the other disciples. Do you know what? If you do well at work, you don't ignore that, but you don't look at yourself and take credit for it. What Paul said is that I am a better apostle than all the rest, but it wasn't me, it was the grace of God at work in me. And he says to the Corinthians, he says why do you boast as if what you have, you didn't receive? You see, that's the thing. On the one hand, we don't want to ignore what we do well. Why? Because then, you're not giving God due honor. Look, every good gift, every perfect gift is from God. It comes down from above, from the Father of lights. He gives. You don't have a single thing. Remember Moses? He said, "Lord, I cannot speak for You. I am not eloquent." You remember what God said to him? God said to him, "Moses, I make the mouth." What does He say after that? Something about seeing, and what does He say? Kevin, you got that one down? Kevin: Not word for word, but that's basically it. Tim: Right, but that's the reality. Do you know what? If you do well with math or you do well in computer science or you do well in whatever this guy does, the thing isn't to sit there and say, oh, great Babylon, look what I've done. Oh, great computer science program! Look what I did! Now look, what you want to feel is confidence in the Lord. I'm confident that God has made me good in this, and He helps me when I do it. And He has a way of keeping on reminding us because we have a tendency to self-confidence. It's like that natural man, you can say: "Oh, we're new men!" Yeah, we're new men. We carry about the flesh. And there is still a tendency for us to love independence. One of the great idols that God has to break in every one of us is self-sufficiency when He saves us. But you can be good at something, like Paul was good at being an apostle. You can even say, "I'm the best" if it's true. See, you don't want to deny that because that's what God's doing. We want to declare God's works. But you don't want to do it in a way that's proud. Proud means you're lifting yourself up. You want to do it in a way that you recognize: I am what I am by the grace of God. So, anything anybody want to add to that one?