“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” — 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
Following God’s Guidance
Coaches teach athletes about the importance of listening, learning and avoiding overconfidence, but star athletes sometimes forget to be cautious when everyone is cheering and telling them how great they are. It’s easy to suddenly sink in surprising ways if we are not careful.
Sloppy sailors sink ships but most people thought the Titanic was unsinkable. Designer Thomas Andrews said, “This ship is as perfect as human brains can make.” As they left the British Shore in 1912 to head toward New York, someone reportedly said, “Not even God Himself can sink this ship!” Even though some experts recommended 64 lifeboats in case of disaster, they only brought 20 lifeboats because they didn’t think they needed them.
Captain Edward Smith knew a large number of icebergs were in the Atlantic Ocean near Newfoundland but he never slowed down when he passed through the area. For some unknown reason, Lookout Frederick Fleet did not have his binoculars when he saw an iceberg in the path of the ship and told the first lieutenant. It is unclear how soon the captain was notified and he went full speed ahead until the iceberg knocked a large hole in the boat and the ship sank quickly. Some 1,500 people sank with the ship; about 700 survived.
Sometimes overconfidence causes carelessness, costs lives and brings regret. How do we avoid overconfidence? We should be mindful that God is the only one who is always right and is never wrong. If we want our boat to stay afloat, then we need God as our anchor. “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure….” (Hebrews 6:18-19).
Our strength and understanding are limited, but God helps us face every challenge when we call upon Him for wisdom. We need God to keep our head above water. “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God“ (2 Corinthians 3:4-5).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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