How often am I guilty playing the comparison game? How often do I, in pride, look down on others? How often do I, in envy, look down on myself?
“To some who were confident in their righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector…”
The Pharisee was guilty of pride, of looking down on others. His confidence was in “his” righteousness, as if righteousness could be attained through his own effort and moral superiority.
We live in a world that prizes that kind of confidence. “Believe in yourself.” “You can do it.” “You’re amazing.”
Misplaced confidence leads to arrogance. We compete and compare. We think we’re better than… that we’re more talented, or smarter, or better looking, or more deserving, or more committed, or more spiritual, or just plain right.
The Apostle Paul “put no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3). He was confident, but it wasn’t because of who he was or what he had done. Instead, he was confident because of who God was, what God had planned, and what God was capable of.
What’s the antidote for misplaced confidence? The opposite of pride is humility. The truest, simplest fix for misplaced confidence is “to fix our eyes on Jesus.” When we take our eyes off of ourselves and fix them on Jesus, he brings a healthy perspective about who we really are “in him.”
In this way we can walk in profound confidence without tripping over our own pride.
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