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 NIV
Many people in our world today think more highly of themselves than they probably should. And there are likely just as many who have a poor self image. And this is just as true in Christian circles as it is in the rest of the world.
But while it is tempting to think that Paul is talking about self-esteem here, he really is not. What your sober judgement is concerned with here is determining how God has equipped you to serve within the body. It is performing a self evaluation of your spiritual giftedness, or calling. Verses four through eight make that clear. We are members of one body, each with differing gifts. And it is important to understand what part each of us play within that body.
To think of yourself with sober judgement is challenging. It almost requires that you step outside of yourself. And then judge as an impartial outsider. It requires that you be honest with yourself concerning your strengths and weaknesses. Rather than look at what you want to do, look at how God has equipped you. That is what Paul means when he talks about the measure of faith distributed to you.
Overall, Paul gives us some good advice here concerning our spiritual giftedness. In the two previous verses he has told us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. That is really an essential first step. And then, with renewed minds, we should think of ourselves with sober judgement. Looking to find our place within the body. The place that God has equipped us for.
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