1 Samuel 15:17-19 – “And Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel, 18 and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said,’ Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’ 19 “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” NASB
How we see ourselves is reflected in what we do. The statement of Samuel to Saul is very interesting. He spoke of a time when Saul was ‘little in his own eyes.’ That could be negative and speak of a person that is so defeated they do not think they can do anything. It could also speak of a positive character trait where the person was humble and did not have an overinflated view of themselves. I believe that Samuel was referring to the latter in Saul. The fact that when Samuel came to publicly announce him as king he was hiding, and they had to bring him forth.
In Romans 12:3 we read the warning or directive of the apostle Paul that no believer should think of him or herself more highly than they ought, but to have a sober evaluation of who and what they are. He addressed that again in Philippians 2:3 saying, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” The apostle James spoke of this condition saying, “But He gives more grace. Therefore, it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
I do not believe that Samuel, James, or the Paul was suggesting that a believer view themselves in a self-deprecating downward manner. I believe they were saying that we should think of ourselves with an upward view. By that I mean we should think of ourselves as highly as is proper in our calling. We are ‘more than conquerors’ in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “…All things are possible to him who believes.”
In Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus is giving some powerful life instructions to those following Him. His message was pointing out the contrast between things of earth, and the things of the Kingdom of God. He was encouraging them to make the right choice. He was conveying the idea that heaven is not simply a place awaiting us when we die but it is more than that. The Kingdom of Heaven is the realm of God’s presence, through His divine grace that every believer has access to now!
Paul’s words in Romans 12 need to be rehearsed, ‘Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you’. If we compare ourselves with others, we will develop a wrong view of ourselves and others. Our only comparison is with Christ, not other people. Long ago, I prayed and told the LORD that I did not desire to be an echo but wanted to be a voice.
I was given some powerful advice by a seasoned elderly minister when I first acknowledged the call of God to preach. He said, “Son, do not imitate anybody but Jesus. Be who you are and use what God has given to you. The Holy Spirit will develop the style God wants for you.” I tried and failed numerous times but finally realized that the only way I was truly comfortable doing what I felt God had called me to do was to just be myself.
I have had professors and other preachers tell me that I needed to be more this or that. Some suggested more homiletical in style, others to be more expository, etc. I tried three points and a poem and that did not work for me I felt constrained and my message felt canned, reheated, warmed over, and cold. I tried various styles but when I finally realized if I was genuine in what I heard in my heart of hearts and spoke from my heart, God would bring about the desired results. I did, I do, and He has, and He does.
I do not consider myself better than anyone but by the same token, I do not consider myself lesser. It matters not if your gift and call are to nations or to a local congregation both are valuable to God. It matters not if you are the CEO of a major corporation or an hourly worker, both are valuable. There are parts of the human body that are more notable and visible than others, but all of the parts make up the whole and have an important role in the function of the body. God created these bodies to function with some of the parts missing but He did not create worthless or unnecessary parts. The optimum function requires all the parts to function as they were designed to function. The same is true in the Kingdom.
Do not think of yourself higher than you ought to think but do not think of yourself lesser either.
God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!