Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

The Confident Christian, and Why He’s So Dangerous

Parenting is one of the strongest ways to gain confidence, because you protect someone who needs you and depends upon you. All mothers and fathers are put in the position of leadership. Madonna and Toddler, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed open edition print at iCanvasART.

When I was a young woman and a new Christian, I used to swoon in the presence of the Confident Christian Male. I’m sure you’ve met these Alpha Omega types: they command a room as soon as they effect their entrance, and declare wisdom in measured, even tones.

Fearless and self-assured, they pronounce judgment upon everything from the proper way to pray to sound business acumen, and after five minutes in their presence, you’re convinced that you need only do what they do and obey what they say, and you will succeed in life.

Frequently, they wind up — or rather, put themselves in — positions of leadership, where numbers of people fall under their spell. I am happy to say that I am no longer one of these people — I don’t know, maybe it’s that post-age-40 female thing, when we realize we know more than we think we do, but I started looking at what people say, versus how they live, and I began to be unimpressed. (Look up the traditional definition for “confidence man,” sometime.)

I’ve Met This Person, Before

After years of dealing with these people, a general conspectus emerges: Phenomenal Spiritual Business Man who does everything from provide financial consulting services to write children’s books (EVERYONE writes children’s books, from Rush Limbaugh on down; do we seriously think that children have no literary standards?). He has outwardly obedient kids and a docile wife, frequently “serves” as an elder or senior deacon in a church, and when I am unfortunate enough to have to do business with him, he is convinced that the sheer magnetism of his voice is enough to secure my compliance. I’m just a little lady, after all, and given that I’m a Christian little lady, then it follows without question that I will follow him without thought.

On a larger scale, he hosts a television or radio show, “comments” on the news, conducts seminars, or writes books that we are all instructed to read.

He is a leader — dynamic, charismatic, sanguine, and bold — and the sheer positiveness of his message is the reason why we believe it. Humans crave security, and when another human promises it — through the seductive forcefulness of his words — we fall into line, behind him.

Confidence versus Humility

But is this wise?

And does confidence necessarily mean godliness? Or aptitude?

I think not.

One of the greatest human leaders of all time was Moses, who is described in Numbers 12: 3 as ” . . . a very humble man, more humble than anyone on the face of the earth.” So unwilling was he to put himself forward that he argued five times with God about taking a leadership role that the average Prosperity Preacher would consider beneath his skills, with a final request of,

It wasn’t Moses’ confidence that parted the Red Sea, but God’s might. Whitewater, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

“O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

But God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1: 27), something we might remember when Confidence Man prods us into the corner and intimidates us to acquiesce, because he is big, strong, presumptuous, and right.

Yes, I know — you, and I, are small, weak, vacillating, unsure of ourselves, not particularly wealthy, and singularly unimportant.

Jesus: Meek, and a Leader

This might be a good time to remember that Jesus in Matthew 11: 29 describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart,” and His Beatitudes of Matthew 5 list out attributes — which Christ considers well worth desiring — that are the total opposite of what we learn in Personal Development Seminars.

When the Bible talks about confidence, it doesn’t position the word “self” in the front:

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us,” (1 John 5: 14)

or

“(I am) confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philipppians 1: 6)

If you are unsure of yourself, that’s okay — I’d be unsure of yourself, too. I know I’m unsure of myself. But the one Person who’s worth being sure of — because He’s perfect, and strong, and wise, and compassionate, and powerful — is Jesus Christ, and He tells us this:

“All things have been committed to me by my Father.” (Matthew 11: 27) That’s a pretty sound recommendation.

If you’re going to worship anyone, make sure it’s someone worth worshiping, and the only one who fits that description is Christ. He’s worthy of your worship, and He’s worthy of your trust: don’t give it to anyone else.

Thank You

Thank you for joining me at Commonsense Christianity where I see two kinds of Christians — those who follow Christ, read His words, and listen for His voice — and those who depend upon others to tell them what to do and how to think.

Do, do, do strive to be the first type of Christian.

Posts similar to this one are

Sham Christians: Don’t Be Fooled by Them

Christian Leadership and Ordinary People

Sleeping Christians: Wake. Up.

  • Pingback: April 2014 Rundown - 263 Links | Programming Life

  • Carolyn Henderson

    Excellent thoughts, Joseph. I have just been reading about Christ’s words that those who will be first will be last, and he who will lead will be a servant of all.

  • Pingback: The Work You Do for God - Commonsense Christianity

  • http://thiswomanwrites.areavoices.com/ Carolyn Henderson

    Excellent thoughts, Joseph. I have just been reading about Christ’s words that those who will be first will be last, and he who will lead will be a servent of all.

  • Joseph Moore

    always remember this. Those who have matured into a true place of leadership in Christendom understand that their authority is demonstrated truly by carrying a towel and not a crown

  • http://thiswomanwrites.areavoices.com/ Carolyn Henderson

    Thank you, Shade. It’s a challenge, and a walk, to learn about God to the point that we trust Him absolutely. There are so many conflicting “teachings” about God, masquerading as truth, that we Christians must spend much time in prayer, meditation, and a searching of the Scriptures to weed out the deceit.

    My constant encouragement to Christians is that they trust in God enough to believe that He will teach them, and that they have enough intelligence, wisdom, and resources to learn, ask questions, grow, and not slavishly follow the words of others.

  • Shade Akinbiyi

    Amen. You said it well, there is only one person we can be sure of, and that is the Almighty God. And I will rather put my confidence in Him, than man or self. God bless you!

Previous Posts

Contemporary Corporate Christianity
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) In contemporary

posted 12:39:49pm Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Deception is Brilliant and . . . Wrong
"The men put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy." (Joshua 9:5) It's not necessarily a compliment to be called clever, cunning, canny and shrewd, although in the society in which I live, the United States, fooling peopl

posted 1:08:17pm Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »

When Our Strength Is Our God
"They sweep past like the wind and go on -- guilty men, whose own strength is their god." (Habakkuk 1:11) The society in which I live, the United States, is one which extols wit, cunning, business acumen, financial savvy, confidence, and strength. [caption id="attachment_1475" align="alignle

posted 10:08:56am Feb. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Three Things God Wants Us to DO
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Those of us who attended church in the 1980s are familiar with the musical version of this verse. As with any Scripture that is set to mus

posted 12:41:45pm Feb. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Does It Bother You, That People Lie to Us?
"Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?" (Habakkuk 1:3) For many years, like many people, I was contentedly asleep, focusing the majority of my time on minor, day to day things, allowing those things to swallow up an inordinate proportion of my thoughts: I accepted

posted 1:55:36pm Feb. 06, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.