“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
How do you see yourself in the body?
Paul is a highly regarded messenger of God and an apostle. He knows his authority and he has this pride not by own right, but through the grace of God. Here, he is giving a warning to the believers that pride has no place in a believer’s life. He made it clear that the Jews are not greater than the Gentiles, nor the Gentiles greater than the Jews. This is because we share in his mercy through the faith God has distributed to each.
Thinking with Humility
This faith that we received is a measure of each other’s capacity to serve in the ministry. And because we share the same faith in the body of Christ, this means that each person has an equal capacity to serve. If you continue to read on Romans 12:6, Paul further says, that “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” – which means that there is no room for inflated pride. Just as our physical bodies are composed of many parts, so Christ’s body is made up of many believers who all perform different work (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
As our bodies cannot be taken apart, so we belong to each other. The members work together to make the body work. When it is not done, the body suffers. True humility is important, and it’s great if in the way we think, we recognize and appreciate the differences, we promote each other’s growth which leads to the growth of the church.
Think with “Sober” Judgment
The word “sober” is two words in Greek. It’s “to save” and “mind” – thus, to save your mind. Life has been very stressful with all the things that you need to think about. And as I think of the passage today, I am paying great attention to the importance of self-awareness in ministry – that is, knowing your gifts and strengths with the right focus of putting yourself in the right position.
In my post about self-awareness, I mentioned how we have the tendency be in extremes in evaluating ourselves. We either think we’re indispensable or we think we’re worthless. And both of those are wrong. Sometimes we get full of pride and think we’re holding the world up or we tend to be harsh to ourselves.
Thinking about ourselves in the ministry and the role that we play is not meant to be stressful. Instead, it is meant to bring less stress by thinking with the right focus.
Think That You are Valuable and So are the Others
One of the secrets of having a good life is being appreciative even on small things. Just as even the smallest part of the body is designed for a purpose, think about how small things that you or the others are doing can add value. Remember that by valuing others, you also add value to yourself.
Think That Every Person is Being Used
Corinthians 12 says the hand can’t say to the foot, “I don’t need you.” The foot can’t say to the eye, “I don’t need you.” We’re interdependent. We need each other. Some are bigger and more prominent, more obvious. Some are less obvious. I have a hand and that’s obvious. I also have a kidney. That’s not seen but which is more important to my life?
Think About What You Can Do Rather Than What Others are Doing.
One of the greatest thing that you should not forget as a believer is that, you are blessed with a spiritual gift. Focus on discovering and using than rather than looking at how other people are using (or not using) theirs. Believe that you have a unique purpose that no one else has and that nurturing you gifts lead you to serving that purpose. Do not waste your time and efforts worrying other’s purpose when you have your own to think about.
I would leave a verse that wraps up this discussion. On the same chapter, Paul talked about how love is put into action. As you you continue your journey, think about how you can celebrate the differences that you are seeing by doing everything out of love (1 Corinthians 16:14).