Food for Friday

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

I remember a big man who came to our house when I was a little boy, to visit our father. He accepted a cup of tea from my mother, and sat telling stories to my father for a couple of hours. They were fantastic stories, and I hung on every word, as he described wartime situations in which he was able to overcome great odds and to single-handedly rescue many of his fellow soldiers. My father listened and nodded, saying little, smiling often, and restraining himself from interrupting. Finally, the big man looked at his watch, and declared his need to be on his way to a meeting in town. When he had gone, I remarked to my father about how wonderful the visitor was, to have accomplished so many wonderful things. My father grinned, and remarked, ‘Most of those things happened only in his mind!’ The big man was like many of us, desiring to appear bigger and better and greater than we really are.

Honestly, brethren, if we were half the men we think we are, we would be twice the men we are. Our text reminds me of the need to limit my opinion of myself. It’s a valuable reminder, because, just like you, I have a tendency to try to make myself look as good as possible in front of others. It’s a human trait, and it sells a lot of cosmetics, wigs, and clothing. It also generates a lot of lies and false impressions. As Christians, we should be aware that the only One Who really matters can read our thoughts and knows the truth about us no matter how much we misrepresent ourselves to others. God not only knows all about us, but He also points us to His Son as the perfect Example of how we ought to act.

The Lord Jesus never misrepresented Himself; He didn’t need to. He never sought to appear greater than He was; He couldn’t because He was, and is, greater than all. But He never sought public acclaim or popularity, or deliberately acted to draw attention to His power and glory. He is the ultimate Example of humility. and we should remember in every situation to try to follow His example.

We know how we ought to think about ourselves. We know, because we have studied the life of the Lord Jesus. Let us act like Him. – Jim MacIntosh

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