The Dangers of Overconfidence

It was not difficult for those sailing on the RMS Titanic in April 1912 to be extremely confident of their safe travel to America. After all, the ship represented the height of man’s technological achievement and was a triumph in showing off the luxury and opulence of the 20th century. In addition, because of a newly incorporated divided-compartment technology complete with automatic watertight doors, the Titanic was considered by many as “practically unsinkable.”


But on her maiden voyage, while traveling at almost full speed through an area where drifting ice had been reported by other ships, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 pm on April 14, putting a 300 foot gash in her starboard side. At 2:20 am on April 15, only two hours and forty minutes after striking the iceberg, the Titanic sank below the waves taking over 1500 souls to their deaths, with only about 700 people surviving.  Repeated warnings of icebergs in the area had been routinely ignored, while the ship sailed on at nearly full speed.


The tragedy of the Titanic provides a sobering warning to those who either ignore the plain warnings of scripture or fail to take them seriously. “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come. Therefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall!" (1 Cor 10:11-12).  This is serious business and why Christians are admonished: "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise" (Eph 5:15).


The Greek word translated “circumspectly” means “pointed accuracy, which is the outcome of carefulness” (Vines). It is a “careful consideration of all circumstances and possible consequences” (Webster). Walking circumspectly means that we are always careful to look around us 360 degrees, never letting our guard down. It is exercising and maintaining our spiritual vigilance. As the Apostle Peter cautions: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).


Failure to acknowledge and heed to the warnings of inspired scripture could result in a tragedy far worse than the sinking of a ship. It could mean the loss of one’s own soul (Mt 10:28; 16:26).


Terry Schmidt


Author: southmain006

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