March 7, 2015
READ: 2 Corinthians 3:1-6
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God (v.5).
After helping his team win American pro football’s 2014 Super Bowl, a cornerback declared in a post-game interview that he was the best player at his position, and opposing teams should send only their best players against him. His comments sparked a national discussion on the role of courtesy in sports. Although his remarks offended some people, you can’t deny that he’s supremely confident in his abilities.
What about believers in Jesus? Are we allowed to be confident, or is that somehow opposed to our calling of humility? (Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:3). The apostle Paul doesn’t seem to think so. In 2 Corinthians he makes it clear that we have reason to be confident before God because we are qualified and competent (3:4).
But he also clearly states that this isn’t based on our own merits but on God, who has qualified us (v.5). And He hasn’t approved us to pursue our own ends and purposes. No, we’re to be ministers of the new covenant that we have in Christ (v.6). And so, we can be confident in our abilities, as long as we recognise that it’s God who makes us good at what we do—and what we’re called to be is ministers of the gospel.
Sometimes I lament that I have nothing of any worth to bring to the kingdom, when that isn’t true! At other times, I recognise my abilities and am confident in them—failing to remember that they’re not supposed to be used for myself. So I often live in one truth or the other, but not both.
In Paul’s words, I find a rare balance between confidence and humility: I can be confident because God has qualified me, but I remain humble because I know that the work for which He’s qualified me is not my own. It’s His!
365-day plan: Judges 4:4-24
Read Philippians 3:1-10 and Psalm 71:1-6 to see how true confidence should come from God and be found in Him.
How are you doing at balancing humility and confidence? How are you living out the fact that God has made you competent as a minister of the new covenant?