Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
— Psalm 20:7
Self-confidence is not the virtue that modern man has made it into. In fact, there have been no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of books written on self-confidence and how to obtain it. Do you have self-confidence? The Bible has little to say about it other than the fact that it is a curse, not a virtue.
The word “confidence” is a combination of two Latin words: con (with), and fides (faith), so “Self-confidence” means “with faith in yourself,” and that is misplaced faith. Our faith should be in Christ. What we need is not self-confidence, but Christ-confidence. If you have self-confidence, you are always going to run into somebody bigger than you are, stronger than you are. You are going to run into a problem that is bigger than you can handle; your self is going to give way and the result of that is often despair and despondency.
But if you succeed, that’s even worse. What do you get then? You get pride. The Bible tells us “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). It can be deadly for the spiritual life. Sadly, in America today, we have hundreds of books teaching people how to have self-confidence, and thousands of parents are teaching their children to “Be proud.”