Overconfidence

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We have all gone into something with such confidence that we do not prepare very well for it, or maybe not even put it as a high priority. Maybe it’s a task you are given at work, or a test you took/have taken in school. Maybe it is something just as simple as making dinner!

This past Sunday, as we all know, was Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate our mothers and all they do for us. Typically, on this day, Moms all over the nation are flooded with cards, candies, flowers, and other gifts in an effort to show appreciation for all the hard work they put into raising their children. I wanted to bless my mom by making her dinner. It was perfect. I would go to the store after church and let her go home so she could relax and enjoy the day dedicated to her pampering.

I went to the store and picked out all the ingredients that I needed to prepare the meal I was planning on making for my family. I was excited because this was my first meal to cook since being home from college. Also, this was a new meal for me to make… chicken parmesan sandwiches with garlic and butter noodles. When I got to the list of items I needed to get to prepare the noodles, I decided to not buy anything. My family is very good about keeping garlic, butter, and noodles stocked, so I just assumed that we had it all. I did not want to call home and have Mom look because that would give away the surprise!

I got home, cleaned up the kitchen a bit and began to bread the chicken and put it in the oven. Next, I started to make the noodles. I looked in the cupboard, and lo and behold, to my surprise, we did not have any spaghetti noodles! Not only was I shocked, but I was also concerned about what I was going to use for noodles! We had elbow noodles, rigatoni noodles, and spiral egg noodles. I did not like the shapes of the elbow and rigatoni noodles as they did not fit the look that I was going for. I ended up just using the egg noodles.

The chicken wasn’t even halfway baked and I started boiling the water for the noodles. Soon, I had the noodles finished and another 20 minutes to go on the chicken. I set the burner that the noodles were on to low so that they would stay warm, but as I checked them frequently and stirred them, they began to dry up and not taste as good as they did when I first made them. I tried adding milk several times (finishing off our last gallon of milk) and that helped to keep them moist, but the flavor was just not the same.

Finally, the chicken was finished and I made a plate for my mom and told everyone else dinner was ready. Everyone enjoyed the parmesan chicken sandwich, but when it came to the noodles, not so much. My stepdad told me to feel free to make the chicken anytime I wanted to, but to stay away from the noodles. I agreed, and ended up throwing away the pan because they did not taste well at all! I told my mom she did not have to eat them!

You see friends, there is a point to me telling you this story. It’s not just to talk about my bad kitchen experience on Mother’s Day or to warn you to never eat my noodles if I prepare them for you. I tell you this story because it is a lot like our walk with the Lord and how we take on things that are thrown at us in life.

We all have things that we think are really hard to get through, but when we give our worries to God and allow Him to work in our hearts, it turns out that it wasn’t that bad after all. The problem is that when we face another problem, we remain in the confidence that we have gained and forget to lean on the Lord.

You see, I was overconfident that my family had spaghetti noodles in the cupboard waiting for me to cook them into a gourmet Mother’s Day meal. So confident that I didn’t even bother to call home, even if I were to talk to someone else in my family, to see if we actually had them or not. I was overconfident in that I knew how to make garlic butter noodles using egg noodles instead of spaghetti noodles. I was so excited to bless my mother, that I could not wait to make the whole meal in a timely manner so that everything finished at the same time and was perfect for serving. I made the noodles way too soon, causing them to dry up and eventually lose their garlic/butter flavor.

This overconfidence got the best of me. My noodles did not turn out well at all. In fact, when I showed a picture to someone, they asked if it was potato salad!

This is exactly what happens to us in our faith walk. We rely heavily upon God during desperate times in our lives. God ends up working in our lives and gets us through the situation in His time and through His strength. We then see another mountain coming around the bend, maybe one that isn’t as large. We pep ourselves up by saying, “I’ve got this!” or “I’m not going to let this knock me down again!” and we rely on our own strength to get us through, forgetting that it was God’s strength that got us through before. We say that we climbed the last mountain that was even larger than this one, so we should be just fine.

This is bad theology friends. We cannot plan to overcome something, regardless of size, without the help of God. It is solely HIS strength that gets us through the hard times, the difficult times, and the desperate times. We cannot deny that. We cannot take credit and say that it was our own doing, because it is God’s doing, not ours. We let overconfidence get the best of us and think that we don’t need to pray every day. We let ourselves believe that because we go to church on Sunday mornings that we don’t need to read the Bible on our own throughout the week. We take in these lies and then become overconfident that we know the Bible and have a personal relationship with Christ because we went to church on Sunday morning and listened to the sermon and prayed at the altar.

This same overconfidence overtook the Israelites at the Battle of Ai after their huge victory at Jericho. To learn more about overconfidence and how it can be a courage buster in life, listen to Pastor Aaron’s sermon: “Courage Unleashed: Stumbling Blocks to Courage” on PAG’s podcast!

Joshua

Friends, don’t let overconfidence get in the way of your relationship with the Lord. Remember to rely on God’s strength and He will get you to where He wants you… In His time… And in HIS strength!

Jenny Bushnell,
College Student, Writer, Blogger

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