No Confidence "in the Flesh"

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 3:1-3

Our oldest son Billy became brain damaged due to a severe illness at the age of seven. When he came home from the hospital I suddenly discovered my inability to parent him. I, who had felt very confident in my mothering skills, couldn’t manage him at all. He chewed his collars, slammed doors, hit his brothers, threw things, shouted impulsively, and challenged me daily. His behaviors seemed impossible and his hyperactivity drove me to the Lord.

We take our many blessings for granted and often assume we have brought them about. We glory in our abilities and accomplishments thinking we have secured God’s approval by our own “righteousness.” We exude self-confidence and independence, never realizing our bankruptcy apart from God. We presume to obtain a standing before God by our own efforts. Our convictions regarding our own strength, resources, abilities, and training are all characteristics of our “flesh,” as Paul names it. We feel that such dependence on our self is perfectly legitimate and normal. And we forget about needing God. In contrast, Paul encourages us to rejoice in the Lord with no confidence in our flesh.


Forgive us, Lord, when we try to gain your approval through our own efforts. In your name. Amen.