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.

1 Comment

Filed under seeking understanding

One response to “thinking lowly about yourself is not the same as humility

  1. Kevin OShea

    Hey Man,

    How is the journey mon??

    I post the below, not for approval, or wordsmithing, or correct theology, but as the “blur your eyes” truths about me and Our Father, and if I can be so bold, the truths about all of us.
    Problem with our human condition is whenever you say “truth”, then the natural human reaction is to look for falsehood, to try and split words, and divisions and religions everywhere pop up.
    We ever so easily, look to split hairs, and look for the difference instead of celebrating and unifying around the 99% “truth” or commonality.
    Anyhoo, over to you…..

    1. The truth about me = God made me and loves me 🙂

    2. The truth about the person sitting next to me = God made him/her and each one is therefore my neighbor

    3. The truth about the world = God made it and provides for it

    4. The truth about what is wrong with the world = Me and my neighbor have sinned and continue to sin by refusing to let God be for us, over us, in us, and above us

    5. The truth about our history and future = Jesus. The Son of God, sent by the Father who was killed by and for our sins and was raised from the tomb for our salvation such that we can have new life as we believe in Him, accept His mercies, and tend to His commands

    Love,

    Red

    From: kingdom travelin’ <comment-reply@wordpress.com>
    Reply-To: kingdom travelin’ <comment+rht3b5y_izg8uf1yu8xwuz@comment.wordpress.com>
    Date: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 4:38 AM
    To: Kevin O’Shea <koshea@heliosage.com>
    Subject: [New post] thinking lowly about yourself is not the same as humility

    revtomtravels posted: “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”

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