Most people learn life the hard way some never realize that they alone are the source of their struggles; they are literally oblivious, lacking the knowledge and understanding that they are out to destroy their own life. The average person doesn’t realize that they will never on their own seek to do anything outside of themselves. Having confidence in your ability to carry out an act, or action is one thing, but being confident that you are in control of how and when you will use or apply the ability can be deadly. Illusion of control describes the tendency for people to behave as though they have some control when in fact they have none.
There are those who would agree the hallmark of any great leader is their display of confidence constantly conveying to others that they know what’s going on and are fully prepared to handle it. Unfortunately for most, confidence may begin small, but it soon runs amok taking on a persona all to itself and with every “win” it ushers you down the primrose path to an ever waiting overconfidence which could be the most “pervasive and potentially catastrophic” of all the cognitive biases to which human beings fall victim. Once bitten the overconfidence bug settles in taking root, becoming a well-established bias rooting itself deep down inside at the very core of one’s being. Once allowed to take root overconfidence disguised as self-confidence, and may even masquerade as Godly confidence causing the person to believe their subjective confidence in their judgment is reliably greater than the objective accuracy of those judgments
Now, is there anything wrong with having confidence? No, absolutely not. However, many believers today do not realize they are at war against their self Romans 7:18. In this type of war your flesh is constantly on the attack never resting. The flesh uses among other weapons our sense of pride in combination with our desire for immediate, albeit fleeting gratification; your flesh is determined to dominate your spirit. When we as believers begin to trust more in our own confidence however that may manifest itself, e.g. accomplishments, things, people, money, status, etc. and not being confident in God and His plan for us, that’s when it becomes a problem. Galatians 5:17 tells us “…the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. The moment you become confident in yourself believing you and you alone can handle yourself it is at that moment you allow your flesh to run free setting its own course, and your life will begin a very methodical descent into regret, shame and ultimate destruction.
The average person is unaware that often while they are innocently building their confidence they are really feeding their insatiable ego and they will never seek to do the will of God, yet they will always find themselves crying out to God to set them free from destructive addictions and sexual sin. While they are confident in self that they can beat their addictions they still plead with the Lord to remove their unquenchable appetite for food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or pornography even begging the Lord to remove their desire to commit adultery or participate in acts of fornication. Through their own arrogant confidence they constantly find themselves trapped in a never-ending cycle tormented by their sinful flesh.
The Bible is filled with countless examples of the dangers of self-confidence. Peter discovered that where he thought he was strongest and most reliable was actually his weakest attribute. -Luke 22:33-34, 54-62. The self-confident believers at Laodicea thought they were “wealthy” and in “need of nothing,” but were told by the Lord that they were really “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked”. It is very easy to become so captivated with the freedom we enjoy in Christ that we forget we are His, bought with a price and called to obedience to His Word and to His service.
When we as Christians become overly assured, self-confident in our God gifted liberty, we become less dependent on God’s Word and God’s Spirit, and become careless in our living. The writer of Proverbs 16:18 wrote “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling”. As carelessness increases, openness to temptation intensifies, and resistance to sin decreases. When we feel most secure in ourselves, when we think our spiritual life is so strong, our doctrine very sound, and our morals the purest, it is then, when we should shore up our fences, step up our guard and passionately seek God surrendering all and becoming totally dependent on the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but I love that God loves me so much that His desire and plan for me through eternity is to conform me into the very image of Jesus, His Beloved.