For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. –Romans 12:3
Well, I don’t know about you, but I can pretty much skip over this one. I mean, how could someone like me think more ‘highly’ of himself than he ought. I’m actually insulted that the Bible would presume that someone of my quality could ever, in a million years, be capable of over-estimating my glowing character, tremendous talents, dashing good looks, and overall greatness?
Okay, so maybe I can see how the Bible got there.
We are all prone to think of ourselves 1) too often and 2) too highly.
In truth, though, we need to keep a ‘sober judgment’ about ourselves, and that judgment is to be in “accordance (or ‘in light of’) the faith God DISTRIBUTED to” me. So when I display a talent: God gave me the talent and glory should be given to Him; when I do something virtuous: that is a reflection of where virtue begins, which is God, and glory should be given to Him; and–and this is a hard one for me–when I fail I should recognize that I, indeed, did fail and rely on God’s strength to restore me, and glory for that restoration should go to Him.
See, I am nothing if not yoked to God. I am not created, if not for Him. I am not redeemed, if not for Him. I am not alive, if not for Him. As another verse puts it, “Every good and perfect gift is from above . . .”
When I have this mindset, I can get away from myself and focus on God and other people. But when I am a black-hole of inward thought and have an insatiable need to prove myself and garner attention and praise, it is easy to deceive myself into thinking I’m better than I am or wallow in the shame of not stacking up.
Let none of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We are wonderful because our maker fearfully and wonderfully made us; we are talented because our Creator put gifts and talents inside us; we have hope because He gave it to us; and we love because He first loved us. Let us glory in who He is, and how great it is that the onus of the world does not fall on any of us.
Let us rejoice in weakness and revel in humility!