At times, I confuse the difference with confidence and pride. I realize that the feeling is the same but the way it comes about are on opposite sides of the spectrum.
PRIDE: When I do not have confidence in something I do or am, I tend to need approval. This may come in the way of compliments or some other type of tangible. This is usually more pride-oriented.
CONFIDENCE: Confidence is an assuredness that you are doing good. It comes from a clean and pure heart. One that can look back and say, hmmmmmm, yes, that is good.
Pride is hungry and tends to be never ending. It needs a constant filling. Whether it is fed by money, accolades, likes, tweets, pokes and the like; nothing ever is quite enough. Whereas confidence is gentle and does not require constant feedback. It is a general feeling of good. It ends there.
Whether we grew up in homes where our self-esteem suffered or were bullied in school, these cause a rip in self-esteem and doubt and self-loathing replace confidence. When we are babies, we know nothing of this. We see the smile of our mother in approval when we smile and right then we think we are the cat’s meow. (yep I used that phrase). Go forward a few years later, whether a subtle remark is made about the way we look, or a negative comment about our intelligence, that is where confidence starts slipping away.
Then, one can quickly start doing things to gain ego, simply because a healthy one was stunted long ago. Unbeknownst to ourselves, pride is born. It may come in the guise of over-spending on a fancy car or home so that others will be envious. Do not get me wrong, having nice things is not always about pride. Generally, a desire to boast about something is the divider.
I never felt pretty. From a young age I was what one today would describe as a thick build, but to me it was fat. I did not measure up to the typical at least what was archetypal in my youth; the very thin, perfect complexion and so forth and so on. I also never felt smart. Now that I look back, it probably was not that I was not intelligent, it was a misdirected focus. I learned differently. As a result of this feeling of mine, I dropped out of school. I now had a new identity, the high school drop-out. I did eventually get a GED. It never felt the same to me.
I worked my way through the ranks by much self- teaching, and making many mistakes. Due to my lack of self-confidence, my pride was overflowing. My pride was fed by being the “go-to” for everyone around me. I needed that pat on the back and those ultimate words “What would I do without you”? My chest would puff out and my pride was high. Until…… that same person would get angry about a mistake I made or something I did not do quite exactly the way they wanted. I would then deflate, and back came the negative self-talk. I am so stupid! That is what I would tell myself often, still do, at times.
GOD makes it pretty clear in HIS word that he is not a real fan of pride. Pride takes away from who we are in CHRIST and puts more of an emphasis on who we are in the world. Romans 12:3 , “Paul writes to the Romans that he is speaking out of deep gratitude for all that GOD has given me” - This is it, “for all that GOD has given me”. All of our abilities, the way we look and our gifts, all come from the LORD. Paul goes on to say that we should live in pure grace and do not misinterpret ourselves as people who are bringing goodness to GOD, it is GOD who brings all to you. Then the big finish: we are to understand ourselves by what GOD does for us not by what we are and what we do for the LORD.
Our self-esteem comes from GOD. We are beautiful individuals to our LORD. In order to remove or begin to rid ourselves of pride, we must first accept who we are in CHRIST. Simply and perhaps a bit complicated, we meant so much to CHRIST that HE willingly is nailed to a cross shaped hunk of wood, suffering so that we can be free from all sin and death. HIS love is not based on what you have, what you look like, or what you can do? HIS love is not based on how smart you are; how mechanical you may be or how good at math you are! IT is simply because HE loved you first! Grace is your self-esteem!! All else is pride!
LORD, I am truly sorry if pride has gotten in between me and YOU. Fill me with the self-esteem that can only come from YOU, LORD. Forgive me for puffing me chest out when I think I did a good job instead of remembering YOUR grace and just where all comes from. I would like to ask that YOU LORD replace my pride with GODfidance, which only comes from YOU. Thank YOU JESUS!