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Saturday, August 10, 2013

More Highly Than You Ought

Paul wrote, "I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment" (Rom 12:3). Now, we all know people who are arrogant and self-centered. But many of us have a poor self-image, low self-esteem. We don't suffer from that problem, do we?

Here's what the Bible says about us. On the plus side, God made us in His image and, because of that fact, we have an intrinsic value (Gen 9:6). He shows His favor on us, so we have no right to think more lowly of ourselves than we ought to think. To do so is ... arrogance. "Yes, sure, God says we are valued because He made us in His image and God gives common grace (favor) to all, but He's wrong. We're not worth that much."

On the other hand, God says that "the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen 8:21). The Bible tells us that Natural Man is hostile to God (Rom 8:7), dead in sin (Eph 2:1), and unable to comprehend spiritual things (1 Cor 2:14). On our own we are not righteous and not even good (Rom 3:10-12). But our big problem is deeper than that. As creatures, we have a natural tendency to worship and serve "the creature rather than the Creator" (Rom 1:25). We are, at our cores, self-centered. Despite our inherent deceitful hearts (Jer 17:9), we tend to judge everything by our own desires, our own desires and pride (1 John 2:16), including God. We tend to attempt to bend our world to our lusts.

So, is our problem that some of us think too little of ourselves, or is the real problem that we all tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought? I suppose the answer to that would depend on whether or not you are going to accept the biblical description or go with the one that is provided by a deceitful and sick heart.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Good thought.
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

― C.S. Lewis