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Conceit v. Confidence

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Conceit v. Confidence

 aWe must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. ~ Galatians 5:26


Conceit - excessively favorable opinion of one's own ability or importance.  Arrogance, cockiness.  Exaggerated, distorted view of self which leads to self-centeredness, delusion, and a sense of superiority.  When a conceit takes hold and one's achievements do not match one's assessment of one's abilities, envy and blame spring up and disunity results.

Confidence  - full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. Courage, trust, boldness – producing freedom. Accurate view of self.

Fainthearted - lacking courage, boldness, or conviction. Timorous, fearful, cowardly.

Accurate Self-view - confidence

Inaccurate Self-view - conceit, cockiness, fainthearted, fearful

No one enjoys being around a cocky person who has an inflated view of self.  However, there is often an over correction and an individual will practice self put downs.  Thesis, antithesis - neither are the answer.  In between conceit and fainthearted is confidence.  This is simply an accurate self view.  It is belief based on past success.  No one would call a person cocky for stating that he could recite the alphabet perfectly without missing a letter or for proclaiming that he could walk across the room without falling down. Nor would it raise an eyebrow for a chef to say he can make a great omelet.  Likewise, for a competitor to believe and even state that they can do a certain skill well is simply confidence.  The competitor should be no more apprehensive of stating that she is a good free throw shooter if she is. It does not mean the person will not mess up the alphabet or fall while walking or mess up an omelet or miss a free throw.  But past success gives confidence for future success.

Christians are often the biggest violators of self put downs.  Because I don't want to be prideful, I overcorrect and belittle myself.  However, humility is not thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.  Ultimately, the Christian competitor can be supremely confident because his/her confidence lies in Christ not in self.

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