James Boswell once visited David Garrick, the great English playwright. During the conversation Garrick predicted greatness for the young Boswell. This energized the-then unknown biographer. However, it only agreed with his own estimate of himself. For he felt he possessed “a blossom” that distinguished him from the common herd. Great Diaries, 447
Boswell’s appreciation of himself reveals a warning to humanity: we are in more danger thinking too highly than too meanly of ourselves. Had that not been true, Jesus would never have made self-denial the basis of discipleship. Paul would never have written, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” And Dwight Moody wouldn’t have quietly corrected a group of students who approached him, saying, Mister Moody, we have been praying together. Do not our faces shine? The wise man gently replied, “Moses did not know his face shone.”
Having only ourselves to give us confidence can keep us trying and trying and persevering and persevering. But if we have value, others will tell us. We need not boast of our own importance. Even then, however, as a Christian, we know any good in us comes from Christ-in-us. We may have important things to do for God. We will never have any higher calling than to be Christ-like.