I realize that beginning with that sort of question is just about as provocative as asking if self-esteem is always good.* I hasten to add that I am convinced that confidence is almost always good. Well, you may be asking, if it is only “almost always” good then when isn’t it good? Tempting as it is to tell you to listen to the sermons and then you’ll know, I’m not going to do that.
Confidence is first and foremost only as good as the source, to put it another way, if confidence is put into something unworthy or dangerous or wrong or . . . then it isn’t good. The better question to ask than “is confidence good?” is “what is your confidence in?” or “in what are you placing your confidence?” I can be completely confident that my body can withstand a high speed collision with a car but it can’t; my confidence is high but what I’m confident in is (at best) a faulty assumption.
This Sunday’s sermons come from Paul’s letter to the Philippians and he lays out some reasons for him to be confident, and they are pretty spectacular reasons, and then says that compared to the true source of his confidence they are rubbish. The nice thing for us is that we have access to the same true source.
Knox Presbyterian Where’s your confidence?
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Where’s your confidence?
Let me know what you think about this particular take on confidence, I am authentically curious.
*Self-esteem is not always good, at least some studies have shown that the population with the highest self-esteem is criminals, especially gang leaders.