What do you think about yourself? What do you think about your abilities, your potential, and what you have accomplished in life? There are two extremes one can go to. One extreme is for a person to see himself as nothing and incapable of accomplishing anything worthwhile. He is unwilling to try to accomplish much in life because he has failed before. He sees others as much more capable and so he is willing to sit back and let others do the work and take the lead. He is constantly putting himself down. He is willing to take a back seat. The other extreme is also common. Such a person has too high an opinion of himself. He is proud of his abilities and accomplishments. He boasts about what he has done or what he can do. He wants to be heard. He wants his ideas and opinions and plans to be accepted and followed. He does what he wants to do because he believes that his ways are always right.
The Israelites initially did not have a king. Since they wanted to be like the nations around them, they asked God for a king. God told the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul to be king (1 Samuel 9 and 10). Saul was very handsome and he was taller than any of the people; he was blessed physically. But Saul had a low opinion of himself; he was from the smallest tribe of Israel and his family was one of the least in the tribe. When Samuel called all the people together to proclaim Saul as king, they couldn’t find him because he was hiding among the equipment. Saul was bashful. After Saul became King, his feelings of importance changed. Now, he was the one everyone looked up to. He made the decisions on what was to be done. One time, God through Samuel told Saul to punish the people of Amalek for the bad things they had done. Saul was told to utterly destroy the Amalekites and kill all of the people and all their animals. Saul and his army went and destroyed most of the people and animals. But he saved the king and the best of the animals. 1 Samuel 15:17-19 “So Samuel said, ‘When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?’” Saul changed from having too low an opinion of himself to having too high an opinion of himself when he made the decision to disobey God and do what he thought was best. From Saul you should learn to have the appropriate opinion of yourself.
Having too low an opinion of yourself can cause you to be like the one talent man that Jesus taught about in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The one talent man did nothing with what he was given and he did not make a profit for his lord. His lord called him wicked and lazy and he was cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Having too high an opinion of yourself leads you to be like the Pharisee that Jesus taught about in Luke 18:9-14. His teaching was for those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Luke 18:11-12 “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’” This Pharisee was proud and righteous in his own eyes. But he was not justified before God.
You need to be careful in you self-assessment. 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.” You need to think about yourself and whether or not you are walking in the truth or not and whether or not you are contributing what you can to the kingdom of God. Galatians 6:3-4 “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” If your honest assessment of yourself is good, then you can be happy. If it is not good, then pray God to help you correct what is missing.
When you think about yourself, don’t compare yourself to other people. 2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” All of your abilities and resources come from God. 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?” Give God the glory for everything. 2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” It is only by the grace of God that you are saved.
We need each other. Every one of us is necessary in the body of Christ to serve in God’s kingdom. 1 Corinthians 12:20-22 “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” Rather than having too high an opinion of yourself, it is better to be humble and value others more than yourself. Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
My encouragement to you is to have a sober judgement of yourself, having neither too high nor too low an opinion of yourself.