If you are a Christian leader, I challenge you not to place your confidence in yourself. Like you and I, the Apostle Paul was a Christian leader. As such, Paul acted in confidence. He led three missionary tours during a time when travel was perilous. He appealed his legal troubles to Caesar. Yes, the Roman emperor himself. I think that takes confidence.
However, Paul says that even though he had reasons to have confidence in himself, he chose to take no confidence in himself, or “confidence in the flesh” as he puts it. (Philippians 3:3-4 ESV) What can we learn from this profound spiritual lesson?
For many leaders, to the degree that we are competent, we are confident. We look at our success and we love the fact that we are no longer timid. With experience and competency, we are confident we know what to do, and we do it well. This is good, but we make a mistake when we place our confidence in ourselves above our confidence in God.
You may ask, what if I am genuinely exceptional in my field, a world-class leader, and my self-confidence is rightly solid? Is that bad?
Yes. If you hold to a Christian worldview and you are a child of God, you must not put your confidence in the flesh, as Paul describes. As wise as you or I may become, even with world-changing successes, we remain human, full of a panoply of wild emotions, faulty logic, biased thinking, and susceptibility to poor character. We are limited.
As a Christian leader, would you commit with me today to be like Paul, placing no confidence in the flesh? God knows everything. May we rely on Him and ask for His guidance, even in our areas of supreme strength because He is infinitely more supreme.