Monday, March 31, 2008

Humbly think highly of yourself

The title of this post may seem oxymoronic, but I think you'll see what I'm getting at. In speaking of the individual functions we all have within the body of Christ, Paul gives us a great reminder in Romans 12, saying that each of us should not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but to think soberly. After all, we are who we are solely through the grace given to us, not because we're anything great in and of ourselves. I like the phrase, "more highly than we ought to think," because it's not as if we're not to think highly of ourselves. Just not more highly than we ought to. There's no reason for us to mope around and think that we're pond scum and that God is simply having pity on us and using us so we feel a little better about ourselves. It is indeed all of grace - that we couldn't possibly have earned (otherwise it wouldn't be "grace") - but it's grace that He lavishes on us because He loves and adores us individually and He loves and adores the entire body of Christ!

In that sense, we are to think highly of ourselves because God thinks highly of us! We humbly think highly of ourselves because God has lavished His love and grace upon us and He has made us to be something that is VERY valuable and precious. In fact, before Christ ever came to live in us, God thought of us as valuable and precious. That's why He sent Christ! He so loved the world.

The reason I bring this up is because I know it's hard for us to see ourselves as we truly are - loved and accepted fully by God - and because of that it's hard for us to "be" who we truly are. While our perception is not always truly reality, our perception of ourselves becomes what we think is reality. If our particular part in the body of Christ doesn't stand out as much as some other part of the body, we may think lowly of ourselves, and inferior to others. Or if our focus is on the bad things we do, we may see ourselves as nothing more than "sinners saved by grace." We wrongfully identify ourselves as sinners. We wrongfully identify ourselves by what we sometimes DO. But our identity is not what we do. Our identity - who we are - is a matter of who God has now made us to be by His grace.

In truth we're saints with a brand new identity! We've been made into new creations.

We are royalty! We are a royal family. We are literally God's family. We have taken on the actual identity as children of God! We're children of the Most High God. We are special. We are peculiar. We are chosen. We are His children. We can think highly of ourselves in that way, because it's the truth about us! I say "highly," not "haughtily." There's no ego involved in thinking of ourselves as we truthfully are!

I had originally planned on simply writing about our status as royalty, but my thoughts have quickly broadened into thinking about our overall identity in Christ. I'm in the process of preparing another post that talks about the truth of who we are in Christ, but I don't want it to only be a matter of simply making a list of who we are in Christ. I will indeed list several things that are true about our identity in Christ, but my hope in listing them out will be to help us understand that we're not "low" creatures, but that God thinks highly of us and He values us and has assigned much worth to us and He accepts us fully and has made us into something "big." We have become a part of His eternal kingdom, and that is nothing to sneeze at or think lowly about!


  1. I think it is important to develop an attitude in our heart towards who we really are in Christ. "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he". So what we think of ourselves is important. It is so amazing how much our attitude can impact our life!

  2. Bino... Great words. That is exactly what I was trying to say here. :)

    If we perceive ourselves as less that what we really are, even in the name of not wanting to have an ego, then we won't truly live as who we really are. Our self-perception needs to match the reality of who God has made us to be. I fully realize and understand that this is a lifetime process, of growing in the truth of who we are. But I think a healthy start is to stop thinking so lowly of ourselves by calling ourselves "sinners saved by grace" and other false things like that. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! We are loved, we are blessed, we are complete in Him!