3 For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.
We all have nicknames while growing up. Some can be flattering, but realistically, most are sarcastic. One of those sarcastic nicknames I had in middle school was “Mr. Think-you-know-it-all.” Unbeknownst to me, I had apparently developed a reputation for feeling as if I knew more about everything than everyone else. It had gotten so bad that people didn’t want to ask me a question for fear of me scoffing at them. One day, my mentor pulled me aside and said, “You can actually be right about something and still be wrong. You can win an argument and lose the heart.” In that moment my pride was exposed. The Lord was gracious to me in that I realized I was thinking so highly of myself I had forgotten the fact that this life is all about Jesus.
In Romans 12:3 Paul is communicating to the church at Rome, and by extension to us, that we aren’t to think of ourselves in an exalted way, but instead we are to fix our minds on God who gifted and crafted us. Paul says a person must not “think of himself more highly than he should think.” Friend, God gave you the skills, talents, and gifts in which your flesh naturally wants to take pride. It’s fascinating how we can dwell on the talents we have without even thinking of the talent-giver. We can boast in our own skills without making much of the very One who created that skill and gave it to us.
C.S. Lewis says that Christian humility is not thinking more highly of yourself, nor lowlier of yourself—rather, it is thinking of yourself less. We should spend more time thinking of God and of other people. You own a business? Great…how are you serving others through it? You are an exceptional athlete? Awesome…how are you stewarding your talents to make Jesus famous to a watching world? We should also seek to recognize the giftings and talents of others so we know what “measure of faith” they possess.
Today, think less of yourself and dwell on the truths of God. Think less of your own accomplishments and more of how to use those accomplishments to point a lost and dying world to the King of kings. You have been given one life…steward it holistically for God and others.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What talents do you have for which you are most thankful?
- How can you use those gifts, talents, or passions to serve the church and others?
- Have you ever been accused of being prideful? Why did someone call that out in you?
- Would you spend some time thanking the Lord for your salvation and gifts right now?
Pray for churches in Southeast Asia today. Pray for steadfastness, courage, dependence on God, and a burden for lost friends and neighbors for all believers in Southeast Asia.