Summary: Christ gives confidence for living.
CONFIDENCE FOR LIFE
II Cor. 3:1-6
INTRO.- ILL.- A lady went to a minister one time and said, “Preacher, I must confess a great sin in my life.” He said, “What is it?” She said, “It’s the sin of pride. I often stand before my mirror and admire my beauty for hours on end.”
The preacher replied, “Lady, your sin is not the sin of pride. IT’S THE SIN OF THE IMAGINATION.”
Some people do imagine themselves as better than they really are or perhaps better looking than they really are. They don’t have a confidence problem, they have a pride problem.
ILL.- In basic training, a sergeant made things very clear. He said, “Don’t worry, I hardly ever make mistakes. Matter of fact, I’ve made only one mistake in my life. I once thought I was wrong about something. It turned out I wasn’t.”
DID YOU EVER KNOW ANYONE LIKE EITHER OF THESE TWO PEOPLE? I hope not. I hope it’s not you nor anyone you live with! If so, you’ve got a real problem.
WHO SAID THESE WORDS?
ILL.- “There’s not a man alive who can whup me. I’m too smart. I’m too pretty. I am the greatest. I am the king!” - Muhammed Ali just before his famous fight with Smokin Joe Frazer.
- “Nobody will ever beat me again!” - Ex-heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson after he was knocked out for the first time by James Buster Douglas.
- “I’m 62 years in the theater. Nobody teaches me anything about acting.” Actor Mickey Rooney.
- “I’m ready to meet my Maker, but whether my Maker is ready to meet me is another matter entirely.” - Sir Winston Churchill.
- “Even if all fall away....I never will.” - The apostle Peter just before Gethsemane when they came to arrest Jesus. Peter said those words to Jesus.
Pride can get to anyone. Pride can swell the head and dwarf the soul.
Prov. 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Pride can bring us down just as quickly as it takes us up.
ILL.- Actor Tom Selleck of Magnum P.I. fame said, “Whenever I get full of myself, I remember the nice, elderly couple who approached me with a camera on a street in Honolulu one day. When I struck a pose for them, the man said, ‘NO, NO, WE WANT YOU TO TAKE A PICTURE OF US.’”
It’s better to be humbled that way than to let God humble you. He has much stronger ways of humbling a person. And whenever God humbles a person, they know they’ve been humbled.
Rom. 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
Christians are not supposed to have an inflated view of themselves, but neither are they to be insecure and plagued with feelings of self-doubt.
ILL.- A good athlete who does not believe in his ability will sit on the sidelines. A public speaker who does not believe in his message will not be very effective. An overly cautious driver who lacks confidence will be a highway hazard.
A certain amount of confidence is needed in life. If we are ever going to accomplish anything good, we must believe in what we are doing and have some confidence in ourselves.
ILL.- Do you remember the former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca? Some years ago he advertised his cars on TV. Could you imagine him saying, “We hope our cars are ok. Maybe you ought to buy one.” But that’s not what he said. He said, “IF YOU CAN FIND A BETTER CAR, BUY IT.”
Lee Iacocca believed in his product and made believers out of a lot of people. His Chrysler minivan, introduced in 1984, became one of the best-selling vehicles in North America.
When we Christians are hesitant and apologetic about our faith in Christ, we’re not going to convince anyone to believe in Christ and give their lives to Him. But when we say with confidence, “I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that he is the Savior of the world and that He alone can forgive us, give us purpose in life and give us a home in heaven,” then our testimony is believable and convincing.
II Cor. 3:4 Paul said, “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.”
PROP.- In our text, Paul speaks of the confidence that he had in Christ and how our confidence can grow in Christ.
1- Resist the temptation to impress people
2- Rejoice in the endorsement of others
3- Rely on God’s provision
I. RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO IMPRESS PEOPLE