This is an interesting one. Only once can I remember being accused of being prideful and it was relatively recent. It caused me to research the difference. Before I go into the difference, I want to make one declaration. Never blindly believe about yourself what others say about you. Examine yourself. If they’re right, then you know where you can grow. If they’re wrong, their offense becomes their problem to overcome and that has to be trusted into God’s care. Their offense may last a long time and even distort their view of you. The enemy works that way – but that’s a different blog.

I’ll list some differences between pride and confidence below, but the most important thing to understand is that a confident person is confident in what they know, but they also realize they don’t know it all. A confident person will still desire to grow. The prideful person will think they’ve arrived. Realizing that I KNOW KNOW KNOW that I don’t know it all and that I’m consistently thirsty for growth, understanding and knowledge become my litmus test.

The second way to know if you’re confident and not prideful is if you desire to see OTHERS succeed. The prideful person will want to receive all recognition and all glory and will try to suppress the growth of others. The confident person seeks to lift others up and exalt them. This is my second litmus test. Do I want others to grow and succeed even beyond me? YES!!!!

Here are some additional comparisons:

Pride stops learning – Confidence craves knowledge
Pride blames others – Confidence can say “I’m sorry”
Pride focuses on self – Confidence focuses on others

Confidence says “I can do it” – Pride says “Only I can do it”
Confidence knows their weakness – Pride has none

Experience creates confidence. The confident have a history of successes to draw from. Here are a few more differences I found from benreed.net

1. Pride Never Says They’re Wrong
2. Pride Doesn’t accept input
3. Pride Doesn’t accept correction
4. Pride doesn’t take others into account
5. Pride craves recognition for what they’ve done

1. Confident person measures their choices and actions with wisdom
2. Confident person weighs input from others and moves forward
3. Confident person doesn’t proceed through selfish ambitions
4. Confident person realizes they can’t do it alone
5. Confident person knows who they are and who they aren’t
6. Confident person works to build others up.

So, this was a bit of insight into myself that I gained through criticism, but the result allowed me to be sure even when the other person didn’t see it that way. I can walk in God’s declaration of who I am, CONFIDENTLY, all the while guarding my heart against prideful actions.

Every article I read about pride and confidence assured me of one thing – it’s a terribly thin line between the two.

As much as I would love to do EVERYTHING and do it really well, one conclusion I came to over the last few months is that I’m not creative. At all. I’m a left-brain guy – I think in terms of processes and I need structure. For instance, I had to spend a few days in with other faculty members and professors this week planning out Goals and Outcomes for Applied Theology courses. I loved it! It was systematic, it was structured, and for a lot of people it would have been death, but I had a blast!

Here is the thing, I LOOOOVVVEEE creative people! It blows me away to see them and how their brain operates. I’ve just learned that I need to surround myself with people that can help me be creative. I can see the end goal, the end result, the final project. But I can’t fill in the gaps – I need people around me to do that. For example, I knew we needed to renovate our bathrooms at the church and I new the steps we had to go through to finish it. I also had a general idea of how I wanted the bathrooms to look (i.e. floor colors, sink colors). But I needed people like Linda Seagears and Rich and Yalexa to creatively make my general idea a reality.

I also see it in Pneuma Ministry College. I see the end result, and I see what I want our students to know and to learn. I can mark out the process and structure but being able to creatively put together programs that fulfill that vision is difficult for me. I love creativity, but I have come to learn over the last 3 months that I’m not creative.

So, for all of my right brained creative friends out there, I LOVE YOU!  You make me better.

UPDATE!!

We took a personality test and one thing I discovered is that I AM CREATIVE, but I’m not artistic. I can creatively think up structures and systems, but I’m not artistically creative. For instance, someone can come up with some great ideas and I can develop the structure to support the ideas.

Insight Into Me: #1

February 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

There are a few things I’ve learned about myself over the last few months. It is amazing how times of deep reflection, usually spurred on by trial, doubt, and exhaustion can reveal who you truly are, what you truly want, and how much you truly need to listen to God.

These next few blogs will be dedicated to the five most recent insights into the life of me. While there is little doubt that these insights will be extremely uninteresting to most, and irrelevant to many more, they are a record. They are an altar. They are symbolic deposits only a few keyboard clicks away if I were to ever need to download their truths later. It does not mean that these insights will not shift or develop or evolve. It simply means that at this season of my life, at this stage of evaluation, reflection, and contemplation that these are the areas I need to lean on.

INSIGHT #1: I Need to Be Loyal

There is one specific time in my life that I was disloyal to a friend. I still think about it. I’m not talking about minor slip ups where you accidentally share something that was not intended to be shared. I’ve done that too. I count that towards my often malfunctioning brain rather than a disloyal heart.

But there was one time.

I knew it in the moment, I knew it before the moment, and I knew it after the moment. I knew that I had sacrificed one of my most esteemed values. I betrayed a friend. It was not a minor betrayal.

One time.

It still haunts me. I often wonder if I could ever be disloyal like that again. The thought shakes me and prevents me from making the same mistake. Whenever new moments arise where I could compromise this most cherished value of loyalty, I often reflect on that one time. He has since forgiven me and we are cordial, but some mistakes push boundaries beyond restoration. Reconciliation is the best one could hope for.

As I stated, loyalty is one of my most prominant core values. I am loyal to my friends and I have an unwavering expectation that if you call me friend, that you are loyal to me as well. The loyalty presses beyond work relationships. It presses beyond dating relationships. It presses beyond brotherhoods and sisterhoods. I expect nothing less than loyalty and I give nothing less than loyalty. If it is someone I dated and am no longer dating, I still view myself as loyal to them as a friend. If you were a friend/co-worker at one time and are no longer a co-worker, I still commit myself in loyalty to you as a friend. If you are a brother or sister in Christ now, you will be my brother and sister in Christ until you choose to no longer.

Unfortunately, as a friend, as a pastor, and as a man who has commited my life to “emptying my cup” into others, loyalty is not always reciprocated. Having a conversation with one of my brothers yesterday, he shared that I have got to realize that not everyone shares my emphasis, my esteemed value of loyalty. I get it. I do. It doesn’t make it easier. If I am disloyal, my heart aches. If others are disloyal, my heart aches. It’s part of who I am.

It extends into ministry of course. I grew up as a Preacher’s Kid / Pastor’s Kid (PK) – I really want to write a book to PK’s one day.

I grew up watching man after man, family after family, discard the value of loyalty for the temporary relief of convenience. Brothers and Sisters in Christ do not come by way of convenience but by way of trial and testing. Those who leave remember the ordeal, those who stay remember the adventure, and those who lead live with open wounds because love refuses to let them scar. Love refuses to be calloused, to be hardened, to be selfish. I grew up seeing my father, as well as my current pastor, carry out the commands of Jesus to bless those who persecute. To love those who would accuse, divide or abuse. Or in modern day practical application, to love those who unfriend you on facebook and bless those who unfollow you on instagram and twitter. You can’t love from a distance and you can’t experience intimacy with your back turned.

I have been searching… processing… examining my past to discover where and when this emphasis on loyalty was born. I’m not sure. Maybe it was growing up in ministry. Maybe it was the admiration, love, and appreciation I had for the men and women that did not turn their backs on my father and our family in the midst of spiritual warfare or social discord. I’m not sure adults realize how observant an 11 year old boy can be. I would do anything for those in ministry that called my father Pastor and fought along side him. As a boy, as the son of a shepherd, as an observant child, my heart felt for them in a way that is unexplainable. I cared deeply for them.

Maybe that’s why I am how I am today. Maybe that’s why I have always sought to honor my Pastor. Sometimes we disagree, but I refuse to be disloyal. I can’t. I would want his children to view my loyalty as I viewed those who were faithful to my father. I would want my dear friends to understand that if they are going into battle, I’ll be attached to their hip. I would want my brothers and sisters in Christ to realize that they mean more to me than a moment.

Loyalty is inexpressibly important to me. This past few months has shown me that loyalty must never be taken for granted, it must never be cheapened or cast aside as such a thing is not easily replaced. I know I will make mistakes. I know I will occasionally let someone down. But may it never be said beyond that “one time” that I was anything but loyal to my friends… to my family… to my pastor… to my future spouse… and to my Lord.