The Danger of Overconfidence
By P.J. Meduri
Therefore, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall! — 1 Corinthians 10:12
As a player, some of my worst games came on the heels of a good game, a game where I performed either up to or beyond expectations. I guess that’s why, as a coach, I was always wary of the game following a big win. Would the team still keep their edge, or would they approach the next game with a little less urgency? Confidence is good, but overconfidence can make a team vulnerable.
God warns us of becoming overconfident spiritually. Through Christ we have everything we need to live the Christian life, but often we’re the most vulnerable to temptation when we appear at our strongest. That’s when we often let down our guard, relying on our own strength instead of on Christ.
One way to guard against this letdown is by remaining in Jesus, reading His Word, talking to Him in prayer and admitting our need for His grace on a daily basis. Jesus taught His apostles, “Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mk 14:38).
Jesus mentioned the need to get “geared” up consistently in the Gospel of Luke when He told His followers a disciple must “deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk 9:23). That word daily is very important. If we let our guard down for a day or two, and become overconfident, we can end up being vulnerable to the subtle attacks of the enemy. Peter warned: “Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Pt 5:8).
Therefore, just as one game does not make a team’s season, one day does not make our season spiritually. May we always be seeking God’s grace and strength in order to keep us from falling, regardless of what occurred before that day.
1. What causes overconfidence in sports?
2. What did Peter learn about overconfidence? (Luke 22:31–34).
3. What does God promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13?
Extra Reading: Jude 24–25
Father, I need Your grace in order to stand firm. Keep me aware that I face a real enemy, and need to face each day with a renewed dependence on You. Amen.