Scripture Reading: Romans 12:3 (New King James Version)
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Thought for the day:
Just a couple of years ago, we had a new employee start at my place of work. His role was a senior manager and he came in to replace someone who’d been working at the company for many decades. He was relatively young (most people seem young to me now!), but the managers hiring him reported that he had a wealth of experience and was more than capable of replacing the previous manager and take us into a new future. At my first meeting with him, it took me about 10 minutes to get a word in. He’d proceeded to tell me which companies he’d worked for and how he’d made remarkable changes in every one of them. There wasn’t a skill that he hadn’t mastered and there wasn’t an activity at which he’d not reached expert level. He’d been all over the world working on projects and had done everything under the sun in relation to all things related to computing and I.T.. Despite all his rhetoric, I was completely underwhelmed by him and within a few months, it was quite clear that the only thing he was good it was talking himself up. In less than two years, he’d been sacked in a cloud of disappointment and underachievement.
I know that this is an extreme example but I think it gives a picture of what our verse is referring to today. The apostle Paul begins the verse by saying that it is through grace that he is able to give any advice. Paul was an incredible guy and was more than qualified to give advice to all Christians. But even he said that his words are given through grace. That’s a sign of humility. The message is clear: don’t big yourself up. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Don’t stress any qualities you have more than you should. Notice however, that I’m not saying that we should see ourselves as nothing. We shouldn’t walk around in a sense of false humility. All we have is because of God’s grace. We are nothing without Him. But, with Him we are more than conquerors! We are called to live a life of absolute service where God exalts the humble and brings low the proud. Martin Luther King once said “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” And C. S. Lewis rightly defined humility not as thinking less of yourself but as thinking of yourself less.
Prayer and Application:
One Rabbi said that life is not about us. It is about others, and ideals, and a sense of mission or vocation. What matters is the cause, not the person. That is what true humility is about. May we always serve God in humility.