Romans 12:3 “…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

Most of the time this verse is offered as a warning against the sin of pride, and so it should be, but it has more to say to us than that.

The first thing to note is that Paul is not giving us advice he is giving us a command – two commands actually. The first is a negative command; not to think of ourselves more highly than we should. Paul words this as a command rather than as advice because it is a human tendency to avoid addressing our shortcomings. Our default position is self-protection and defensiveness.

Think of the times you have had to bring correction to a close friend. How many times has their reaction been to say, “thank you so much, I really needed to hear that!” Not often. Usually we are met with some sort of excuse, deflection or counter attack. And we all do the same thing automatically when we are confronted with our weakness.

The second command is a positive command; think of yourself with sober judgement. It is the solution to the usual failure to be honest with ourselves. So far so good, but my question is; “honest with myself about what?”

The easy answer is “my sin”. But, sin is not the only problem we choose not to be honest about.

The fact is, sin is not our only problem.

There are many aspects of my personality that I do not want to think about. Many failures that I would just as soon forget. Many fears that only come in the night and leave me sleepless and anxious. Many doubts I hate to say out loud. Could it be that when Paul tells us to think of ourselves with sober judgement he might be including all these things we hate to confront?

By interpreting this verse as nothing more than an admonition against pride we can avoid the hidden aspects of our personality and history, that sabotage our peace and wellbeing. I doubt this is what God had in mind for this verse.

Check back in on Monday for the conclusion of this discussion and hopefully a video of Mark explaining it as well.

 

3 comments

  1. Totally right! Confronting others, even friends, is difficult. The carnal nature makes excuses and fires back accusations against other in hopes of removing the spotlight from ownership of sinful behavior. Good news! God forgives but we need to operate in truth. Great topic!

    Like

    1. Thanks for your comment. Pride is almost always at the root of every relational problem we experience. Sometimes thinking more highly of myself is not a matter of pride but of thinking only of my successes and failing to consider my low moments and failures. We construct a self image based solely upon our high moments [the way we want to be seen – the self image we project] and we leave out our moments of brokenness. By doing this we project a false self to others which results in false or shallow relationships, certainly not what God had in mind for us.

      On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 5:51 PM, Reluctantly Supernatural wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s