The Difference between Confidence & Faith: A Meditation from Abraham’s Life

Pointing out the difference between confidence and faith might seem to be just semantics or best suited for an academic discussion. Nevertheless, let me strike a difference so that we might think about why faith is the most predominately positioned of the two.

Confidence can come from, or be directed to, anything or anyone. We can have confidence that our favorite football team will win the Super Bowl or our kid will get into Harvard.  Confident feelings swell up because we have some facts or sentiments that compel us to believe in something or someone.

In contrast, although faith swells up from within too, it’s beginnings and perpetual properties come from God and are firmly rooted in His promises to us. We do not manufacture faith or muster it up somehow, faith is a gift from God with His promises in view.

Faith is why Abraham gave up a secure life in a country he was familiar with, and traveled through a dangerous land as a nomad for much of his life.  God gave him several promises in the beginning and along the way, with the faith to believe them. Abraham is most noted for his God driven faith, and not his confidence in anyone or anything. I am sure Abraham had confidence in many people and many things but it is not why he is remembered. He is the Father of the Faithful not the Father of the Confident.

Confidence is a desirable humanistic attribute that should rarely be devalued. On the other hand, faith is an invaluable lofty gift from God that strengthens our resolve to trust in His promises and blessings regardless of the circumstances or what we are enduring at any given moment. The spark and the smoldering embers of faith is the gift of God. Confidence is driven by us. Faith is driven by God.

Joseph C. Hutchison

Rochester Hills, Michigan


February 2020

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