Oh, Lord, it’s Hard to be Humble When you’re Perfect in Every Way is a song by country singer Mac Davis that my dad used to sing to my brother and me with a smile and a teasing glint in his eye. The lyrics are a satirical look at the life of being a rock star. If you listen to the words about enjoying looking in the mirror or how he’d have a girlfriend, but the women are in awe of him, you’d either shake your head or chuckle at the egotistical self-confidence.
While this song is a little extreme, the Bible tells us to have a humble spirit, but does that mean it’s wrong to hold self-confidence? James 4:10 says to “humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you,” and Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt 5:5).” (More on meekness from my past blog.) Can we be humble and confident at the same time?
The distinction between being egotistical and confident is that confidence is not about us. It’s about whose we are. Being self-assured isn’t a bad thing. It’s respecting yourself and who God made you to be. We are all uniquely and wonderfully made in God’s image with unique giftings and talents that God arranged for us to do good works. Knowing we were made for a purpose and loved by our creator should allow us to stand tall and walk with a swagger. Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) states, “Let us then with confidence draw near the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.”
Where self-confidence goes wrong is when we emphasize the word self. “For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. It’s not about our abilities. Confidence is about the work God is doing through us. The realization that we are fallible humans fulfilling God’s purpose gives us the confidence to admit when we’re wrong and adjust accordingly to get back on the right path.
Confidence also communicates to those around us how we expect to be treated. Nothing riles up my mama bear instincts more than someone mistreating or disrespecting my boys. God feels the same way about His children. Matthew 18:6 warns evil doers to watch out, “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Our God-given confidence and self-respect communicate to a bad boyfriend or girlfriend that we are a child of a mighty, all-powerful God and that they should fear His wrath.
Mac Davis’s song is a hoot, but we can walk tall knowing we’re God’s children, and it’s not as hard to be humble, knowing a perfect God made us.