Think of Yourself - Part 1
Often we are led to believe that we are not to “think of ourselves”. Thinking of ourselves may make us self-centered, selfish, and out of touch with the world. In Romans 12, Paul, however, exhorts us to think of ourselves with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given us. To think soberly, means to give serious consideration without excessive thoughts or extreme emotions. In other words, do an honest assessment of yourself or a self-examination.
Beginning in verse 9-10, Paul lists several things to consider. These are what I would call “time to look in the mirror”. What are you really like?
- Is your love sincere or phony? Sincere love is free and includes forgiveness. Do you make others pay for your love or expect them to earn your love? Forgiveness is also free. Does the forgiveness with your love have conditions and strings attached such as “do they really mean they are sorry” or “they must apologize?”
- Do you hate what is evil? If you really have no preference for evil, you will do all you can to avoid any thought , words, or deeds that set out to kill, steal, and destroy others. To scheme on how to get back at others, or to see them destroyed is agreeing with evil. The tongue can be an evil instrument that does the devil’s work to cut people down. Do you have control of what you say?
- Do you cling to what is good? Do you hang on to the goodness that is in someone who may not be as smart, rich, lively, or advanced as you are? Do you cling to the goodness that is in your community or do you give up on the people with disdain? Clinging to good takes conscious effort.
- Is there someone you are devoted to? Spouse, children, relative, close friend may be people you are willing to forego some of your own desires in order to further their welfare. Name them.
- Do you know how to honor another above yourself? Are you willing to respect others just because they are human beings? Do you refrain from calling them names, put them down, or writing them off as nothing? We can honor people by allowing them to make their own life decisions and reap the consequences even if we do not agree with them.
Paul challenges us to seriously consider how we see ourselves. Does the way we see ourselves reflect Christ. When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you see the character of Christ? Be honest, and don’t the devil lie to you by diminishing you nor let him deceive you into thinking you are better than you are. Ask Christ how he sees you. You will learn to love yourself.
If you discover areas that do not measure up, repent and return to the lord.
To be continued...