A Word of Caution to the Over-Confident

Sam Petitfils

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 12:10

The following story demonstrates the peril of over-confidence:

“Over confidence, coupled with negligence, can lead to sad consequences."  This is the case when a person is so sure of himself that he becomes careless about little things that may pose a threat.  I'm thinking, for example, of a stuntman named Bobby Leach.  In July, 1911, he went over Niagara Falls in a specially designed steel drum and lived to tell about it.  Although he suffered minor injuries, he survived because he recognized the tremendous dangers involved in the feat, and because he had done everything he could to protect himself from harm.

Several years after that incident, while skipping down the street in New Zealand, Bobby Leach slipped on an orange peel, fell, and badly fractured his leg.  He was taken to a hospital where he later died of complications from that fall.  He received a greater injury walking down the street than he sustained in going over Niagara.  He was not prepared for danger in what he assumed to be a safe situation.

This story would be comical were it not so tragic, but in small ways we can all relate to the plight of Bobby Leach.  How many times in life have we coasted, thinking all was well and life was good, only to take a sudden fall?  While confidence certainly has its place, over-confidence often paves the way for a fall.  How can we avoid over-confidence?

1) Remember who holds you up.
God created the heavens and the earth and He upholds them by His power (Colossians. 1:16; Hebrews 1:2-3). In fact, He is holding us up right now.  Without Him, we can do nothing at all (Philippians 4:13).  Have you forgotten who blessed you, who provides for you, and who keeps you?

2) Rejoice and be thankful in good times.
We should enjoy such times, but not trust in them.  We place our trust in God, not circumstances, which are always subject to change, often in a moment’s notice.  But things that really matter can never change (Hebrews 12:27-28). Many people forget about God as they prosper.  They become so immersed in their good fortune that they forget who holds them up.  They may not intentionally want to forget God, but it happens quite slowly, almost without notice. Countless Christians have sadly recounted the wasted years where they forgot all about God and lived out their own dreams.  Remember to thank God for all good things and be ready to share.

3) Place you trust in God during bad times.
While most Christians claim to trust God, when bad times come, many quickly hit rock bottom.  But maybe God is showing us that we were trusting in the wrong things.  When He removes these things, our world begins to spin.  This is where the hard lessons of life are taught and learned.  They often come with pain.  But soon the pain gives way to wisdom, trust and the restoration of joy.  God does not chastise us to hurt us, but instead to train us to walk with Him.


I just keep trusting my Lord as I walk a long
I just keep trusting my Lord and He gives a song
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o'er the heav'nly trail
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail
He's a faithful friend, such a faithful friend
I can count on Him to the very end
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o'er the heav'nly trail
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail


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