“With Sober Judgment” ( Romans 12: 3, ESV ) by Carley Evans

Paul starts off by telling the church at Rome that he isn’t speaking from himself, but “by the grace given to” him. Most of the time, we know this. As I recall only once did Paul say “I, not the Lord” when he wrote the church. So I find it interesting that he starts this section about spiritual gifts with a reminder to his readers that the Lord is speaking.

The Lord commands “everyone among (us) not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.”

Poor self-esteem is a problem common to humankind. We look in the mirror, and we don’t like what we see. Either we are too short, too tall; our hair is too curly, not curly enough; our waist is too big, our legs are too skinny; our face is too dull, our teeth are just crooked! We buy all kinds of stuff to try to overcome our failed self-image. Obviously, nothing works.

Pride is a problem common to humankind. We look at our works, and we think: ‘Hey, that’s pretty fine. I did that. I like that. I wonder if anyone else noticed how good that was; that thing I did for God.’

Jesus says when we ponder our selves, “to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Sober judgment: judgment that is “calm, clear-headed, composed, dignified, lucid, sensible, steady, subdued, tranquil and unexciting.” (Oxford Thesaurus)

We are members of the body of Christ, and “individually members one of another.” (Romans 12: 5) Each one has his or her own level of grace and particular spiritual gift(s) which God “has assigned.”

Therefore, let us not think more highly of ourselves than we ought.