Confidence and Conceit


We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.–Galatians 5:26


Two quick ways to ruin a team—create a culture of conceit and envy. Conceit is not confidence and envy kills unity.

Conceit is an exaggerated, distorted view of self, which can create paralysis. Confidence is courage, trust, and boldness—producing freedom. To acknowledge one’s talent is not conceit. Maximizing talents and improving weaknesses is healthy. The difference between conceit and confidence is vast, but on the surface they may not appear different. Someone is confident when he/she has a realistic view of his/her skills, understands where they come from, and utilizes them. Conceit is an exaggerated view of self, which leads to self-centeredness, delusion, and a sense of superiority. When conceit takes hold, and one’s achievements do not measure up to the assessment of his/her abilities, envy and blame creep in, causing disunity.

Envy is cultivated by mere extrinsic appraisal. Sport, academics, and even church life can foster this attitude. Someone may seem spiritual because he/she sings well, is smart because of good grades, or is great because they jump the best. One’s value is interpreted by comparison. No account has been made for how God measures internal value. That is why we are encouraged not to judge others.

I remember playing poorly after my father died. My coach stuck with me. He actually told me that under the circumstances, I was playing fantastically! That was what I needed to release me to play at the next level. Understanding the big picture will keep us from conceit and envy. God created us with intention: to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. When we use, develop, and enjoy our God-given talents for God, we will feel His confidence.

  1. Do you have a self-exaggerated view of yourself? How can you overcome this?
  2. Do you believe that God created you with intention and purpose?
  3. How can maintain a healthy and holy view of confidence without it becoming conceit?

Philippians 2:3


Father, help me to understand the big picture and feel Your confidence when I play. Amen.

Devotion from A Sporting Guide to Eternity by Steve Connor. Used by permission.
Bible Reference: 
Philippians 2