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Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul, devotionals to help you in your busy life, written by NEWIM board members and staff. 

Humble Confidence

Kim Johnson

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” 

—Romans 12:3 (NIV)

We live in a culture where more and more people are becoming extremely egotistic. Self-seeking and vain, they promote themselves in every way possible. God’s Word speaks often about this issue. For instance, we are warned to beware of selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3), encouraged not to be proud (Romans 12:16) and instructed to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). So it is no wonder we as leaders are reluctant to acknowledge our strengths while often over-emphasizing our weaknesses. Although it may seem we win brownie points for meekness, ignoring our abilities can cause us to feel insecure and steal our confidence to the point that we fail in our duty as leaders.

True humility does not mean discounting our talents. It means having a clear understanding of exactly where we stand with God, totally depending upon Him yet remaining highly valuable to Him in ministry. True leaders do not seek the spotlight out of pride, nor should they hide in a corner out of fear. Instead, authentic leaders pursue being firmly rooted in the place where God has put them—even if it is at the top.

There is a time and place to acknowledge our weaknesses and we must always confess our sins. On the other hand, if we are to be fully functioning, productive participants in God’s ministry we must absolutely recognize our gifts, unconditionally appreciate our strengths and categorically build on the abilities God has given us. There is a balance between humility and confidence.

To say you are good at something is not a declaration of arrogance. Self-acceptance is not pride but instead is comparatively the “sober judgment” urged in Romans that allows us to see ourselves as God sees us—His workmanship. He created us, redeemed us, called us and gifted us. We are not to apologize for our talents but use them for His purpose as He has called us to do.

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.

                                                            —Leo Buscaglia