Daily Archives: January 7, 2020

thinking lowly about yourself is not the same as humility

I’m prideful.

I think too highly of myself. (This is no revelation to those who know me well.)

Firmly aware of this battle (see Rom. 7:25-8:1), I meditate regularly on Romans 12:3.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (ESV‬‬)

In a recent teaching through this text I noted that we often struggle with looking at ourselves incorrectly. Afterward, a physician present in that teaching pointed out to me that there are many people who struggle with being down on themselves (commonly called, perhaps, poor self esteem). Some even confuse thinking about themselves with humility. It’s not.

If we think about ourselves with “sober judgement” we will not think of ourselves too highly or too lowly. As CSLewis put it, the humble person will not think of herself at all. The humble person is too busy thinking of God and others.

The disciple who is growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (through training the heart and mind) is thinking more and more about God and less about herself.

As I grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, I may realize how valued I am by God. I can find my identity in my loving Father. My identity will come not from what I do, or what people think of me, or in the guilt and shame I may be carrying from childhood.

God loves and values you, dear fellow disciple. We don’t have to measure up. We just need to run to him. Remind yourself of that, think of yourself less, and think of him often. He loves you as you are, unconditionally. I hope we will deepen our understanding of this wonderful truth.

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