Everyone respects a man or woman with confidence . . . until that confidence oversteps its bounds and treads into the thorny territory of cockiness. A self-assured, new college graduate met with a recruiter for a job interview one day. The interview was going very well, and the young graduate thought he had a good chance of getting the job. Then the recruiter asked what he would be interested in earning as a starting salary.

“I would like to start with $100,000 a year.”

The recruiter responded, “Alright, we can give you $100,000. Let me also tell you about our comprehensive benefits. You can show up for work whenever you want and set your own hours. We will add a 10% bonus every year. Every other year, depending upon your preference, we will purchase a new BMW or Mercedes-Benz for you as well.”

The young college graduate was speechless. His mouth dropped, and then he asked, “Are you kidding? That sounds too good to be true.”

“Yes, I’m kidding — but you started it.”

The young college graduate was confident of his abilities, but he was not very realistic. That’s cockiness. Cockiness stems from a skewed view of reality. It demands more than it can contribute and has an inflated view of itself and its self-worth. Cockiness pursues success through its own means, whereas God wants us to have confidence of success through Christ. Real confidence is based upon Jesus rather than ourselves. With this confidence, we will attempt and perform great things, and Christ will receive the glory.

Are you a confident person? What is the basis of your confidence? Maybe you are relying upon your natural abilities to help you land the perfect job, find the right place to live, or serve in the ministry with which you are involved. Talent and work ethic can only take you so far. What you and I need more than anything else is the enabling power of our Lord and Savior. Acknowledge your dependence upon Him today, and you can be confident of success.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.