Psychological Confidence vs. Convictions

Think about this. A smart person is smart enough to know he’s smart. A dumb person is often too dumb to know he’s dumb, so he thinks he’s smart, but he’s not. So both of them think they’re smart, but only one is really smart and the other is dumb.

So here’s my question: Do you think you’re smart? If you do, is it because you are smart and you know it, or because you’re actually too dumb to know how dumb you are?

How do you answer that question? There’s only one way to solve this problem. You take a test. That is, you need an outside, objective standard to resolve the issue.

This illustrates the problem of psychological confidence. Most people feel they’re right about what they believe. But everyone’s obviously not right. Some people are right and some are wrong. So how do you know the difference when each feels just as certain he’s correct as the other does?

The answer: You need more than internal psychological confidence. You need outside evidence. That’s why careful Christians don’t just have “faith.” They have convictions. They have beliefs that are anchored to objective evidence because they know the dangers of putting too much faith in mere psychological confidence.

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Greg Koukl