For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. ~Romans 12:3
Our devotion this morning is what I call food for thought. It is about a necessary characteristic of spiritual living that needs to be active all the time in us. Paul admonishes believers to think soberly. Let us see this morning the critical importance of thinking correctly about who we are and what we do.
We see the bias.
Paul is admonishing every believer against the sin of pride. The sin of pride is manifest when our self-opinion compares ourselves with other people, and thinks that we are better, higher, and more deserving than them. When self-opinion occupies our thinking, we tend to be judgmental, over-critical, and extremely fault-finding. We tend to believe the lie of the devil that we are better, more talented, and more skilled. On another extreme, we can develop a sinfully competitive attitude towards a believer who is more talented and blessed than us and make it our quest to overcome that person to prove to ourselves that we are better. When our thinking is biased towards how gifted and good we are, it is difficult to have a good spirit and be a good servant. When wrong thinking occupies our mind, our spiritual service declines and our attitude becomes negative. Be careful of biased thinking that is comparative or wrongly competitive.
We see the bidding.
Paul bids us to think soberly. Sober thinking means to be in our right mind. It means to place a restraint against lustful desires overcoming us. It means that we should humble ourselves in our thinking and realize that God has dealt with us according to His mercy and how He sees best for us. We are to think soberly, according to the measure of faith God has dealt with us. Our thinking should be, “God is better to me than I deserve. God has distributed to me exactly what He knows I can be trusted with.” When I am thinking soberly, I must see myself as being responsible to make the most of the spiritual gifts and opportunities that God has given me. Sober thinking makes me realize that I am a servant to all. Sober thinking compels me to do more for the Lord. Sober thinking reminds me of my accountability to God.
We see the behavior.
Sober thinking is a means of bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It moves me from selfish thinking to service thinking. We must condescend to men of low estate. Thus, our service should be people-oriented. We must have a spirit of mercy when we serve. We should let our love be without dissimulation. We should make every effort to be a good team player. We should be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. We should heap coals of fire on the heads of people who make life difficult for us and others. We should seek to overcome evil with good. Above all this, our spirit must be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.
Paul said in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Let’s think on these things. That’s good food for thought!
Have a sober-minded God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezra 1-3