With Sober Judgment
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” – Romans 12:3
How highly do you think of yourself?
How highly do you think of others?
Do you see yourself as better than others or less?
Some Christians think that they have to see themselves as less than others. They hear the call to humility as a call to low self-esteem. The admonition here in Romans 12 is interesting. We aren’t called to see ourselves as less, but rather as we really are…with sober judgment.
To be sure, we are to count, or treat, others as better than ourselves.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3
There is a difference between thinking of yourself as less and being humble and treating others as more significant. In the first, we deny our true value in Christ. In the second, we see our true value and how much God loves us, but don’t feel the need to lord it over people. Because we are loved and valued by Jesus, we can love and value others and treat them with humility.
True Recognition to Honor God
Notice something interesting about Romans 12:3. Paul says he is speaking, “by the gear given to him,” and he describes the people to whom he is writing as having a measure of faith that “God has assigned.”
We are warned not to think to highly of ourselves, but how can we if we truly understand what is going on. There is no boasting when everything is a gift from God. It’s His grace and His measure of faith which He assigned. For which part of that can you or I claim the credit? None of it! So, no boasting. No arrogance.
At the same time, we recognize with who we are in Christ with sober judgment. In other words, we recognize what He has given us live in gratitude for it.
Those words are some of the most painful words a parent can hear from their child. It’s painful not only because the parent doesn’t want the child to feel that way, but also because it isn’t true. The parent loves and values the child. God loves and values the child.
You are not worthless.
You are highly valued and greatly loves. So much so that the God of the universe died for you. This isn’t self-esteem, it’s Christ-esteem. It’s who you are because God says so and God doesn’ lie.
You have loved me more than I can imagine. When I start to feel worthless, remind me of who You say I am. When I get too full of myself, remind me that all I have is a gift from You that I would not boast except in Christ.
In Christ’s Service,