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The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel is senior pastor of First Congregational UCC in Dubuque, IA. She is a speaker and author of several books including "'Spiritual But Not Religious' Is Not Enough."

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Lillian Daniel: Misplaced Confidence

July 12, 2013

"Look at what is before your eyes. If you are confident that you belong to Christ, remind yourself of this."  Excerpt from 2 Corinthians 10:7-11

There are many kinds of confidence, some of them appropriate to behold and some of them downright annoying.  Admit it, you know someone, somewhere, who is confident for all the wrong reasons.

There's the guy who struts around because he makes more money than his neighbors. There's the family that thinks they know it all because they have been to Europe. There's the person who is certain that everyone wants to listen to her, because she knows she is a brilliant speaker. But there's just one small problem. She isn't.

There's the vain fashionista who tells everyone else what to wear. There's the martyr who is certain she works harder than anyone else. And of course, in any gathering, there's the self-proclaimed expert on politics who won't shut up. They may have confidence, but it's profoundly misplaced.

In American society, we are forever talking about how to boost our own self-esteem. But when the talk show hosts tell us we need to love ourselves more, I want to respond: Do you really want to say that to everybody? I'm just not sure it's a universal problem.

So today, Paul tells us to look at what is before our eyes, and to see ourselves accurately. Is your confidence based on something real? What is real is knowing that you belong to the loving Christ. What is not real is thinking you are better than everyone else. We can all use the occasional cosmic reality check.

Prayer

Jesus, you came to earth in humility and took a special interest in the meek and the mild. Let my confidence come from following you in love, and not from self-serving pursuits. Amen.

 

Taken with permission from UCC's StillSpeaking Devotionals. UCC.org


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