404 Confident Humility

Confident Humility

Confident Humility

Pride and humility are more closely linked than one would imagine. Some would say the two are in direct opposition. I say they are the same thing, just with different sources.

In James 4:6, it says that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Many will look at a confident person and consider them proud. However, pride and humility are both confidence. Humility is confidence in God, pride is confidence in self.

Humility is the key to unlocking grace in our lives. When we realize that we don’t have to trust in ourselves, we can tap into the Source of all confidence.

In Andrew Murray’s book “Humility,” he states:

“Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others; it is the root of all, because it alone takes the right attitude before God, and allows Him as God to do all.”

As we gather more and more information, receive revelation and gain experience in life, it is tempting to put trust in ourselves. When we lose sight of the true Source and point it back to ourselves, we immediately receive opposition.

Proverbs 11:2 tells us that pride leads to destruction but humility leads to wisdom. In the New Testament, Paul speaks of a wisdom that is not of this world. This wisdom can only be uncovered through humility. Wisdom is always confident.

God wants to instill confidence in us. Not confidence in ourselves but confidence in Him. This confidence in God is increased in proportion to our humility. It will never be confused with pride when it is pointed to the right Source.

How do you distinguish between humble confidence and pride?


  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post
    was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a
    famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!
    http://wifipasswordhackercracker.bravesites.com/ recently posted..http://wifipasswordhackercracker.bravesites.com/

  2. Dorothea Nolan says:

    Humility is one of the most important qualities I value in a person. They’ll think your weak. If I have that “puffed up” feeling, I know it’s pride.

  3. Great topic Tony.
    This is something I often struggle with:
    little to no confidence in myself,
    but complete confidence in God!
    When those times occur, I find divine results happen.
    But pride is recognized when I expect people to respond in the ways I imagine they should, but then I grow angry when they don’t.
    Then I know it was all about me.

  4. This has been a question I have wrestled with for years (and expect to continue to do so).
    David Norman recently posted..What’s your thing?

  5. my wife just read that book 🙂

    humble confidence empowers others. pride promotes self. or protects self.
    mo recently posted..Stop Leading

  6. Love this post T-dawg!

    that book was so good! packed with so much. i am learning the little ways my pride masks itself. Pride is really hard to keep up with. Humility is exhaling. i wish i could surrender more quickly to him.

    great stuff!
    Tracee recently posted..Living Differently

    • I SO agree with you, Tracee. Humility is one of the most important qualities I value in a person. It’s something that I want most in my life. Ironically, pride is my biggest struggle. I’ve been challenging myself every day to make myself nothing and esteem others above myself. When I know my Source, I can do that with confidence.

  7. I just found your site, I like it! I am curious though, how did you get your shelfari bookshelf as a blog page instead of a widget, I can’t figure that out. Thanks!

  8. There is a tin line between being humble and not being respected.

    Sadly, in today’s world if you are too good, to gentle and polite, others may give you less respect. They’ll think your weak.

    The challange is to be polite and respected in the same time.

    I found many respected people, but not many of them are polite and open as much as “a regular guy”.
    Luke recently posted..Highest Paying Degrees

    • That’s a really good point, Luke. Many times respect from others comes from respecting yourself. That’s where humility is the foundation. When you find your value in what God says, you can be confident in that and respect yourself. Others respond accordingly.

  9. Cindy gave me a heads up from a video you sent her about noise. It was a perfect tie in with her exceptional post. Just wanted to say thanks for that.
    floyd recently posted..STICKS AND STONES

  10. Glad I saw your tweet today. I totally agree. Too many people equate humility with insecurity, when in fact it takes a secure person to be humble.
    Alex Marestaing recently posted..writing for the youth market part two: place

  11. Great post! I often think about this subject. I wonder wonder where the line is between humility and confidence. The more I think about it I think that most of it comes down to our motives. Am I trying to exalt myself or am I exalting Jesus? Many people around us may not understand us but it only really matters what God thinks!
    Eric recently posted..The First Step Towards Success

    • It’s definitely a heart issue. I love how Jesus flips all the commandments on their head and makes them all heart issues in Matthew 5. Your heart position is so much more vital than your actions.

  12. Tony it took me awhile, but thank God that I was finally able to recognize the difference between prideful-confidence and humble-confidence, and the source of the two. During my prideful days I was also selfish and angry. But once I recognized that I could be confident in the Lord with humility, I also became selfless and joyful in the Lord. It’s awesome relying on the Lord! God Bless.
    Juan Cruz, Jr. recently posted..Give honor to whom it’s due, even to the Waitress

  13. When we have a correct assessment of ourselves, then humility is a natural product. Pride and self-pity/loathing come from the same place. I have a nephew who was severely neglected as a baby, after he was adopted something we saw that he had no love for himself, no pride in his lego creations or drawings. He was so bereft of parental love that he didn’t know he could like himself at all. In a spiritual sense, sin that separates us from God barricades us from receiving his full love – because of that sin, we have no guide to measure our worth (and God says we are precious to him) and without that love-guide we fall to our own devices and pride and loathing take over. When we completely immerse ourselves in the whole love of God in Jesus Christ, we are rightly humbled and assured of our worth.
    Alyssa recently posted..Saturday Sabbath {The Full Roundness of Being Empty}

  14. I have always seen humility as “acknowledging you have need” and pride as thinking you don’t have need of God 🙂 so whenever I think I can do it myself, that is pride.
    Jenny recently posted..Lakes & Farms | Adventuring with Ashley

  15. Very true, Tony! Confidence is absolutely necessary to carry out God’s will and heart for our lives, but we choose the source and that makes all the difference. Thanks man.
    Jason Stasyszen recently posted..Warrior Poet Circle (Vol. 16): Comfortable

  16. Great post! This is a tough line to toe, especially for those that lean towards “people pleasing” like I do.

    It’s natural for us to long to hear the Father’s “well done, good and faithful servant” as we do the works of service He’s calling us to. The difficult thing is responding properly when we feel that nudge from God that we’ve done well — we can overboard in a number of different directions. “God is pleased, I must be great” and “I’m glad you’re happy, but I’m still a dirtbag” would be examples of the wrong response.

    As we mature and depend more on our relationship with God for our sense of self worth, we’ll be less inclined to ride the “pendulum of people pleasing” back and forth between “I’m great” and “I suck”!

    Good post, Tony.
    dan mcm recently posted..“In the wake of procrastination…..”

    • I hear you on the people pleasing aspect. And your two examples show how we can go to extremes on either side.

      I want humility to mark me in everything I do. I want God to work so deeply in me that people KNOW that it’s not me. I want people to say “that HAD to be God, he’s not THAT good!” 🙂

  17. The difference in those two is sometimes hard to distinguish. They can look the same – when someone is confident it can look like pride – and sometimes is. I think it comes down to the reason that we do things – for recognition or for no personal gain – just a feeling of satisfaction for a job well done – and not to make us seem better than others.
    Cindy Holman recently posted..What’s Making Your Noise?

    • One of the questions I ask myself is “Would I have still done this if nobody knew?”

      That helps me check my motives.

      Also, when I do something that is out of my comfort zone I KNOW it is God. That’s when it’s easy!

  18. My ideas of humility changed after I read Moses write that he was the most humble man that ever existed (sorry, the scripture reference is alluding me this a.m.). God would not have allowed that into scripture if he wasn’t the most humble, and yet he was willing to write that. Obviously humility isn’t some kind of self-loathing “I’m a worm and nothing” kind of mindset. It’s knowing who you are in Christ and not being afraid to say it.

    Great post Tony!
    Jason Vana recently posted..Withdrawing to Lonely Places

    • I don’t think he wrote it in “his knowledge” (numbers 12:3). If we believe all scripture is God-breathed, we can take that to say that God was exalting Moses in that moment. Very captivating description.
      Moe recently posted..Can You Spare Some Change?

    • I hope this isn’t annoying but I like to put on my theology/scholar cap every once in awhile (it’s a little tight).

      The word translated in Number 12:3 is actually “meek”. If you do a word search on this word, the best translation is probably poor and/or weak (not much of a boast). Humble works too but I’m not sure if that’s the connotation he was going for.

      Either way, I totally agree that humility isn’t self-loathing. You nailed it when you said it is knowing who you are in Christ and not being afraid to say it. BAM!

  19. I’m in line with the comments that humility is confidence in God. Also in line with those who say you really can’t see humility in yourself because when you “see it” then you’re moving into pride. Humility happens without you thinking about the actions you’re taking.
    Jason recently posted..Day 212: Old friends and long talks

    • I actually do believe you can see humility in yourself. When you look at yourself and see nothing of your own, you can know that it’s Christ in you.

      To try to say that you aren’t humble or that you can’t see your own humility may even be getting into false humility territory.

      I’m not saying you should go around saying that you are humble. But if you are, don’t try to act like you’re not either.

  20. Are you giving God all the glory? Are you where you’re at right now because of your own abilities or because of God? Is all your hope and trust in God?

    I would say you can’t measure your own humility. It’s something you have or don’t have.
    Joseph recently posted..Unschooled and Ordinary

  21. CJ Mahaney’s “Humility” was a life-changing book, you should check it out!
    Humility is so tough to have fully. Even if we don’t have pride like the world has pride, we can still be so full of sin. Realizing our finite nature and trusting in God alone is a challenge. Thanks for the reminder.
    Loren Pinilis recently posted..Dramatic Decisions Are Easy. Are You Good at the Small Ones?

  22. I agree Tony, Humility is confidence in God.

    It’s easy for us to label it as Pride though, I see your point.

    When I was 17, nearly 11 years ago, I was supposed to get a major open heart surgery done….I was all for it…not scared at all…but for some reason something happend and I just never did it…

    I remember telling my Mom that i was not scared, i just didn’t feel like it was the right time….it’s hard to explain…

    Till this day, they just think, i’m being to proud….but i’m not…it this amazing confidence of being dependent and God and his power….it’s hanging on every word of God that I believe keeps me living and I tell everyone “He has My Heart”….

    I know that one day I will eventually deal with this…but for now i’m humble by the confidence I have in being in His Hands…
    Arny recently posted..Happy Monday: My Mansion…O Yeah!

  23. How do you distinguish between humble confidence and pride?

    Humility is emptying yourself, denying oneself, and depending on God. The only boast of a man, should always be to boast in Christ. Paul said, he boasts in his sufferings. Humility is foreign to us, it is a well misunderstood characteristic. We abuse it and apply it incorrectly. The moment a person stands up and says he is humble… he becomes the proudest person in the room. Humility is always hidden from the individual. Pride masks itself in humility.

    How do I distinguish between humble confidence and pride? I don’t. The minute I start “measuring” my humility, I am acting in pride. I honestly can’t tell what it looks like in me… if at all.
    Moe recently posted..Can You Spare Some Change?

    • That’s it, dude. It’s all about being empty. I was really meditating on that this morning. My fear is the only thing preventing me from completely emptying myself. It’s such a paradox because the more empty you become, the more He fills you.

  24. In 2 Timothy 3 Paul talks about people being “puffed up” with pride. That’s how I distinguish humble confidence from pride in myself. If I have that “puffed up” feeling, I know it’s pride. It’s such a simple description, but oh so accurate!
    Larry Hehn recently posted..Posts with the Most – July 2011

  25. My pastor always says that pride is taking from God His right to determine right and wrong in our lives. So, if my confidence has Gods opinion at its center than My trust is in Him and His Word. Humility occurs when I lay down my opinion for His.
    kd sullivan recently posted..Inclusive Exclusivity, An Epiphany

  26. I think it’s distinguished in where it comes from. Am I trusting in my own abilities or His?
    Michael recently posted..Ache

  27. I think you’re right. True confidence stems from a reliance on God, not on your own abilities. I always say I have confidence preaching God’s Word because it’s God’s Word! It’s truth. Always a fine line, though. It’s easy to use God for your own self-promotion.

    • It’s definitely a fine line. Any heart issue can be a fine line because we tend to look at the outside. If it’s for God or done in His name, we look at it as good. But you can do things “for” God and still not have the right heart.

      I want to check my heart every day to be sure I’m operating in His strength and not my own.

  28. Tony,
    Great points. We are all susceptible to pride. I love how you state that God wants us all to have confidence – confidence in Him. I wrote a post a while back about Humility: the path to true contentment (http://bit.ly/iS8ASo). In it, I share a wonderful story about humility from “The Call” – an awesome book about finding God’s plan for your life.

    Thanks for the great posts!
    Jason Fountain recently posted..TOP POSTS FOR JULY

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge