“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (ESV)
Have you ever attended a gathering where someone insists on singing solo, but that is not his or her gift? Painful, right? The discomfort for the listener grows with each tone-deaf note of an otherwise beautiful song. Where was our singer’s family or friends in the beginning? Why weren’t they there to deliver the truth in love about their loved one’s lack of ability?
In today’s passage, Paul is letting us know that what he is about to say is being said from a place of grace. He is revealing a human tendency to think of ourselves in unrealistic ways. This is a true friend. Wouldn’t you rather know you are about to walk off a cliff prior to that last step, and preferably well in advance? Paul wants us to know that when we believe what is false, we are not in reality. He wants us to realize that only those who walk in the truth can live free.
When I think I am better at something than I am, I may be inclined to do what I should not, (like our sad singing friend). I have read and heard many times, “don’t believe your own press.” This is excellent advice whether your “press” is to the positive or the negative.
I cannot claim to know the measure of faith that God has given, but I can certainly rely on Holy Spirit to help me take every thought captive. We need to become experts at examining our thoughts. We can say we understand that every thought or feeling is not to be taken as fact – just because it comes our way. But do we live in this understanding? Mindfulness is our friend. Daily, and moment-by-moment we are bombarded with thoughts, feelings, ideas, and cultural mindsets. We need to learn to identify and cull the false and retain what is true. This can only be done as we spend time in the truth, which is God’s Word.
Lord Jesus, please help me to always remember that your Word says, you are the Vine, and I am a branch. You are the source of every good and perfect gift. Help me to make my boast in you each day. Please forgive me for believing anything about myself (or others) that is not true. Thank you for guiding me into all truth for your Namesake. And thank you for the truth that: You loved us so much that you gave up your very life for us. Amen.