Becoming Confident, But Not Prideful - The How (Part 3)
By Col. Scott McChrystal, Battle Ready Ministries Board Advisor
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The How (Part 3)
My wife and I recently visited our son and his family in Germany. It was an awesome time, particularly in visiting the Christmas markets. We purchased a wooden puzzle, thinking it would be fun putting it together. I’m thinking, “How difficult can this be? It doesn’t even have that many pieces.”
Was I ever humbled! We were totally stumped. Fortunately, the puzzle came with a picture of all the pieces assembled. Eventually we succeeded!
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The struggle to become confident as Christ’s followers—but not prideful—also requires a picture of the final product. The Bible gives many historical examples and word pictures of what our lives should look like as confident and humble disciples.
The How of building godly confidence starts with what God has revealed to us in His Word. Scripture contains the guidance needed, but it’s not a simple or quick task to apply that guidance. We need to be realistic and understand that knowing God through His Word is a lifelong pursuit.
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God’s plan for each of us is to become transformed into the image of Christ. That doesn’t mean the Lord uses a cookie cutter approach. Rather, as we grow into the character of Christ, we fulfil our individual potential as participants in Kingdom living. Peter expressed this beautifully: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-5, NIV).
Keeping these expectations in mind is important as we look to the Bible, God’s roadmap for our lives. In Scripture we find hundreds of commandments, promises, prophecies, and points of wisdom that collectively help us in the transformation process. As we read, study, meditate, and obey, the Holy Spirit does the transformation. The changes He makes will steadily increase our confidence while diminishing our pride.
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Our singular focus should be to know Jesus in a more intimate way. There is a big difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Him experientially. The more we know Him, the more we will surrender to His love and to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. The key is not what we do for Him, but rather how much we surrender to Him. We must come to Him with total vulnerability and weakness.
Just look at how Paul explained what he had learned to the Christians in Corinth: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
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Your path to transformation will be as unique as you are. Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others. As Scripture warns us in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”
The Bible doesn’t outline a specific paradigm or “to do list” for developing godly confidence. I believe the Lord has made it this way on purpose. The key is that we truly want to grow and become like Jesus. Jeremiah 29:13 captures this truth so well: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
In response, you might ask, “If I really seek Him with all my heart, will I find Him? Will I become transformed into His image?”
Yes, and yes! The Apostle John encouraged followers of Jesus with this hope: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
Every single day, from here until we join our Savior in person, we can rest assured of God’s help as we grow in confidence pursuing His best plan for our lives. Pride will only get in the way of that blessing; godly confidence will make it a reality.
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Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal, Ret.
Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal was commissioned in 1970 and served 31 years on active duty, 10 as an infantry officer and the remainder as a United States Army chaplain. His line officer experience included a tour in Vietnam as an Infantry Platoon Leader and three assignments with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His final assignment was as the senior chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He retired from active duty in 2005 and served as the Military/VA Representative and Endorser within the Chaplaincy Department for the General Council of the Assemblies of God from 2005-2019. His decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Award, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and the Army Ranger Tab. His education includes a Master of Business Administration Degree, a Master of Divinity Degree, a Doctor of Ministry Degree, and graduation from The United States Army War College. In recent years, he and his wife have written several Christian devotionals. In addition, Scott co-authored a Christian action-novel and served as the managing editor for the The Warrior’s Bible, an application Bible for the military community. He presently serves as the Executive Liaison for The Warrior’s Journey, a non-profit organization that supports the military community. He’s also a member of the Distinguished Advisory Board for Battle Ready Ministries. He and his wife, Judy, live in Springfield, Missouri, and have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.
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