Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pride vs Confidence

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
James 4:10

Sometimes it seems there is a fine line between confidence and pridefulness. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out where exactly that line is. 

At what point does your confidence become arrogance? 
At what point should you advocate for your self and at what point should you shut up and listen?

God has been working with me on these questions for the past few years, especially in the context of my career. In 2013 I was fired from my position as the administrator of a Residential Treatment Home and, though there were many contributing factors, the main underlying reason is that I did not advocate for myself or my program and allowed my supervisors to put me in a no win situation. This was a time where I was supposed to speak up and instead I shut up. 

Soon after God opened up the door in a new, better company that was in the same industry with only one catch, I started from the "bottom". I was hired as a regular staff and began the process of reproving myself in this new company. God, as always, has been faithful and over the past couple years I have had the opportunity to become the Assistant Administrator and have also had a chance to take their leadership academy as well as learn and grow under my current administrator. 

That brings me to my current situation. I learned, from my experience of being fired, to speak up for myself and I have been doing my best to find opportunities to do so in my new company. Even so, an opening for an administrator position came up recently and I wasn't even considered. I found myself getting frustrated and even upset because I am confident I would be a great administrator and I couldn't see why no one was seeing that truth. I felt overlooked and undervalued. 

The morning before I found out that I wasn't being considered for the Administrator position, James 4:10 showed up as the daily verse on YouVersion. "Humble yourselves..." I read it in the morning before I knew that I wasn't being considered and didn't think too much of it. But after getting the notification God brought me back to it. I processed it and I realized that I had allowed my confidence turn into arrogance. 

I found myself getting upset when my boss would point out my mistakes because I felt that he should be recognizing all the great things I do. 

I was upset at them not considering me for the administrator position even though I could see why it may not have been the best fit for me to move on.

But why was I upset? If my boss was pointing out true mistakes, then I should thank him for helping me improve. If the position wasn't the right fit then I should be happy that the people hiring could see that and kept me out of a less than perfect situation. So why be upset? 

My pride was hurt. Not only that but God was showing me how, through my pride, I was trying to make things happen on my own. I wasn't trusting him any longer to put me in the right position at the right time. "Humble yourselves...

Not only did this verse tell me what I need to do but it gave me a promise. If I humble myself than God will lift me up. 

Confidence is good, but confidence doesn't mean that I attempt to lift myself up

At the right time God will lift me up. And when He does I can be confident that I will look back and be thankful that He didn't allow me to lift myself up. 

I was finally starting to get it but God apparently wanted to make sure because the following verses showed up on YouVersion over the next week:

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." - Proverbs 1:7

"Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble." - Proverbs 11:2

"Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility." - Proverbs 18:12

"For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation." - Psalms 149:4

I know this was very focused on my own situation but I hope that it helps some of you as well. God has promised that if we humble ourselves and put our trust in Him, He will lift us up. If you are waiting to be lifted up this may just be the word that you needed to hear!

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