Romans 12:3 – Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. It seems to me we have become a huge entitlement society that thrives off the thought of ourselves and our worth. We have responded so madly to the thought of low self esteem with the opposite response of conceit. Most of the time the conceit is unjustified, but present anyway. I guess you could say we are drunk on ourselves. In other words, we no longer think with sober judgment on who we are and what we deserve and think we deserve it all because we are “all that.” In the above scripture the Apostle Paul is following up two very famous verses with a “dose of reality” for all who would listen. Paul basically says “don’t get drunk on yourself”, think soberly about who you are and don’t think more highly about yourself than you should.” The earlier verses are as follows Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.
It is an incredible act of worship to offer yourself as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. Paul calls that true worship. Then Paul follows that statement with a sober reminder to never conform to the world, but be transformed by having a different mind than the world. In other words, our thinking has to be different. Point in case – Participation trophies for those who haven’t won anything! Also Face book=narcissism! Narcissism (def) is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. (the opposite of what Paul is talking about in verse 3.) The next time I see someone swing their finger around and say,”I’m all that” I may have to do something or say something. This self bragging has gotten way out of hand. We have become intoxicated on ourselves and our ego is the whiskey of choice. Someone’s mommie or daddy didn’t brag on them enough when they were growing up and they are getting it now!
Paul says to think soberly about ourselves and don’t let conceit become a part of your life and earlier he shows how to make that happen. Offer your bodies to God’s service and be transformed into the person Jesus wants you to be. All of this has changed the way we perceive service to the Lord. In many ways, if you want to get someone to serve the Lord, then elevate them or promise them elevation if they will serve. That only enables the conceit of the spiritual alcoholic and feeds their alcoholism and need for “stardom.” If they cannot see a way to be a star they probably won’t commit to be a servant if asked. In their mind they will think “Hey, I’m not getting credit for doing this? Then I’m out!” If you have bought into the lie about serving and only believe in doing the “high profile” stuff, then you need to rethink what you are drinking. When speaking to the Samaritan woman in John 4:14 Jesus said, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” When you deprive yourself of your conceit whiskey and think more soberly you will find that not only does the living water taste better, but it comes with humble pie also. Micah 6:8-9 – says “He has shown you O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” If that scripture doesn’t help you then read this one. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The devil is in the details and those details are all about puffing ourselves up, but God has a different plan for promotion and it is all about promoting Him and Him alone.
When getting drunk, don’t get drunk on self gratifying wine of self, but be filled with the Spirit and then our lives will make the impact intended. It’s all about God and it will always be all about God.
The Pilgrimage continues….