~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 4), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
HUMILITY SIMPLY: don’t think HIGHER than yourself than you ought to. Keep God front and center in your thinking. We bow before Him, not the other way around. Romans 12:3 says: “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.” The word “soberly” actually means “to be sane – of the right mind.”
In other words, to think more highly of yourself than you ought to is equivalent to being insane in your thinking . . .
Look at Mark 5:15. In this part of Mark, a demon possessed man became of a sober mind beneath the feet of Jesus. “Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.” The Greek word that is the basis of the phrase “in his right mind” concerning the formerly demonized man is the same Greek word that is used as “soberly” in Romans 12:3. Again, to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think is pure insanity – plain and simple!
Operating in pride is like being the crazy demon possessed man – you’ve lost all bearing on reality.
Nevertheless, please note that the verse does not say “think lowly of yourself.” It simply says “not to think more highly (of yourself) than you ought to think.” The reality is you yourself are gifted and the proper response concerning those gifts is not to place them under a stand, but instead to thank God that He saw you fit to take responsibility for a gift(s) so incredible. All glory belongs to the Father. And even if you do have a great gift, just remember that there is a whole crowd of people capable of doing what you do. Look at professional athletes. On one hand they are so remarkably talented. On the other hand, even the best NFL running back (fast and agile as he may be) is, on average, knocked down after gaining only about 12 feet. The running back’s speed is amazing, but it is relatively equally matched on any given play by many of the other players on the field. Humility recognizes that. Humility (as a running back) would also recognize the role your offensive line played in blocking for any of your successful runs.
Humility puts ALL things into perspective.
Humility does not situate a gift lower than it is. Humility’s view of reality is “nothing less, nothing more.” Humility is acutely circumspect. Pride, on the other hand, is acutely self-absorbed.