From the desk of Steve Patton
“…I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3)
Looking out for number one has long been the world’s first rule of self-preservation. In the parable of the rich fool he uses “I” six times in two verses to describe his future. He was numero uno in all his plans. He gave no consideration to his God or to the needs of his fellow man.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves…” (Phil 2:3). It can be so hard to show the kind of humility that regards someone better than yourself - especially if you see their faults and know their shortcomings. Sometimes we may want to change the words of the familiar hymn from “More like you, Jesus” to “more like me, brother, more like me.” The attitude arises unconsciously when we become frustrated or disappointed by another. We will start to believe they are not worthy of my association, my consideration, my time. We think of him as being beneath me - because I see his shortcomings (and not my own). This feeds our “selfish ambitions and conceit.” We think less of our brother, regard him as a second class citizen of the kingdom, and “think of myself more highly than I ought to think.” We are rather “to think with sober judgment" (to put a moderate estimate upon one's self, think of one's self soberly; Strongs Dict.).
Until we can remember our own lowly estate, we will have problems in our relationships with our brethren. We will not work out differences because I cannot admit I may have been wrong and he was right. “He is, after all, not as mature a Christian as me.” Let’s not deceive ourselves. Willingness to lower my opinion of myself or my actions will solve so many problems we have with others. Count the other brother better than yourself. See yourself as far from perfect and admit your judgment is often flawed. Humbly work out differences and encourage one another daily. Then, we can walk together in peace, harmony, and love.