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Becoming Confident, But Not Prideful - The Why (Part 2)
By Col. Scott McChrystal, Battle Ready Ministries Board Advisor
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The Why (Part 2)
Becoming confident without becoming prideful is no easy goal. Let’s consider why so many attempt it but so few are successful.
Our worldview is the most fundamental factor. If an individual denies the existence of the Creator and defines humanity as the apex of all that exists, it follows that mankind holds the controls for all things present and future. The prevailing attitude is, “We can make it happen.” History overwhelmingly demonstrates how far we fall short in ruling the affairs of our planet.
Secondly, we are all engaged in a spiritual war. Our souls are at stake. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, NLT).
You and I have been born into a world full of hostility toward God. Since the Fall, when Adam and Eve chose to believe the devil and not God, mankind has been separated from God by sin. We have no power to change this. Only the blood of Jesus shed for us at the Cross has the power to atone for sin. But we must choose to accept Jesus’ sacrifice and confess that He is both Savior and Lord.
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Our fallen world remains under Satan’s influence. The Apostle John stated it clearly: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:15-16, NIV). No person is immune to these temptations.
The Apostle Paul attested to his own struggle. “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless” (Philippians 3:4-6).
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Our enemy in this spiritual battle uses deceptive tactics. Peter warned believers about Satan’s goal: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Sadly, millions refuse to believe in the existence of spiritual warfare. No one can win that war if they fail to acknowledge it.
I see a parallel in modern medicine’s war against germs. Until the 1860s, the medical community was ignorant about germs. Then, while researching the fermentation of wine and beer, Louis Pasteur discovered the existence and behavior of bacteria, opening the road to modern microbiology. Once researchers, scientists, and doctors became aware of germ warfare, they began to discover cures for many diseases that previously threatened to wipe out all mankind.
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Just as germ warfare is real, your struggles to become confident without becoming prideful are real also. Thankfully, you’re not helpless in your efforts to become a godlier and more confident person. Even if you have failed repeatedly in your past efforts to gain in confidence, don’t give up. Continue to look beyond your strength and wisdom; take hold of the Lord’s.
My dad was the first cadet at West Point to receive penicillin to treat spinal meningitis. At one point, he was so sick that the Catholic priest was called to administer the last rites. Dad told the priest, “Father, please go away. I am not ready to die.” I can happily report that God answered the prayers of many who loved Dad. He was healed, and went on to serve in Army leadership for many years. God will hear and answer your prayers as well.
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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.