Not To Think Too Highly Of Self

Some people are individuals who know-it-all.  They know everything, have a solution for everything, and claim to be able to do everything.  I remember many years ago a young man attended our assembly and claimed he was an excellent mechanic and could fix everything.  We let him work on our car but he failed and created more problems.  Then there is the other extreme where an individual does nothing worthwhile because they believe they can’t do anything; they let everyone else do the work because they believe they are incapable of doing anything right.  The first extreme is of one who has an inflated ego and picture of themselves.  The other extreme is of one who has very small self-worth or trust in God.  While most of us are neither extreme, at times we may think too highly of ourselves and at other times do nothing when we really are able.

We are taught to not be proud of our abilities.  1 Corinthians 4:6b-7 “That none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.  For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive?  Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  It is God who has given us abilities – there is no room for boasting.  The apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from being exalted.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  The apostle Paul learned to gain strength from Christ rather than be proud of his own strengths and accomplishments.

We are also taught that we must use the abilities with which God has blessed us.  Jesus gave the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-15 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.   And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.”  The parable deals with three servants who had different abilities.  They were given talents (money) based upon their ability.  The first two servants took the money given them, applied their ability and gained additional money for their master.  For this they were blessed.  The last servant took the money given him and did not apply his ability to gain additional money for his master.  The master called this servant “wicked and lazy”.  He was cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  This parable is obviously applicable to us.  If we do not apply our abilities for God’s glory, we too will be called wicked and lazy and cast into outer darkness.

You need to make a proper self-evaluation.  Romans 12:3 “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.”  Be sober in your self-evaluation and realize the abilities and capabilities that God has given to you.  Use your abilities and capabilities for His glory.

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