Conceit

Statue - man with scrollArrogance, excessive pride, “swelled head”, excessive ego, too much importance on one’s self

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. Thomas Carlyle

Conceit is incompatible with understanding. Leo Tolstoy

He that falls in love with himself, will have no rival. Benjamin Franklin

   Those who are conceited are trying to perform and display superior confidence on the outside while often trying to protect a rather weak self-image on the inside. Conceit often comes from those who have a hunger for admiration and accolades from others because they have rather poor and weak self-concepts. Conceit is self-deception.

  Think of conceited people you have known, especially those you have know well. You likely agree that once you got past the superficial level of conceit, these people were fragile and vulnerable. Conceit is a type of defense mechanism used to try to convince others we are worthy of admiration and respect. Once you get past this barrier, the “conceited” are largely filled with self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.  

   Many of us have egos that are too sensitive and fragile. This is one of the reasons we are so subject to fads, vanity advertising, flattery, and anything that is geared toward telling us that we are better than we think we are. Teenagers in search of identities seek all kinds of modes of expression that gives them a sense of “status”: ear rings, tattoos, hair styles, clothes, baggy pants, and others. Adults are no different, they just have different venues: cars, adult toys, clothes, cell phones, types of entertainment and more. These are our efforts to be a part of something giving us importance and identity.

    We cover up or mask our feelings of inferiority, insecurity, doubt, and fear that exists inside. We are driven to alter and compensate for our inadequacies. Being conceited is just one of many such attempts. “If, I can show you or convince you how confident I am, then you will not know how insecure I really am”. This is what conceit is really all about.

    Think of those who seem to have it all together. Chances are they do not really show indications of conceit, only self-confidence. These people are sufficiently self-secure and do not have to go around pretending. They have solid foundations of self-esteem and self-worth. They are mostly in control of their self-issues. There have no need to cover up or mask.

    These individuals understand personal growth and development. They have learned to love and accept themselves as worthwhile and commit to a little growth each and every day. They know they have their share of weaknesses and short-comings, but do not let these things hold them back.

Challenge:  Self-issues are something you will likely deal with all your life. Put these things into perspective and you can propel your live forward in wonderful ways. You are not perfect, nor likely will ever be. You have much potential and are worthy of becoming the best you can be. Accept yourself as worthwhile, warts and all. Commit to becoming “better” every day. Know your shortcomings and faults. Improve them a little at a time.     

Wisdom:  There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done. Johnny Unitas

Spiritual: (NIV)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him. Proverbs

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

We do not have to live feeling insecure and inadequate. We have chosen to be this way. In our own strength, we will have problems with all types of self-issues. We are not meant to be “self-creatures”. We were designed to walk in harmony with God. This does not mean we are puppets on a string and have no self-identity. However, it does mean, that without God in our lives, we are severely handicapped to live this life.

Prayer:  Help me to turn myself over to you so that you may help me become what you designed me to be.

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