Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Of all the advice that the apostle Paul has given us, Romans 12:3 is a prayer to pray endlessly: "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 [metron, Gr.] of faith."
We can pray the first half easily--"not to think of [myself] more highly than [I] ought to think." No problem. The answer is easy: I am the "chief of sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15), "less than the least of all the saints" (Eph. 3:8), an "unprofitable servant" (Luke 17:10), etc.
But it's the second half of the verse that's confusing--what does it mean to "think soberly" about myself? What "measure of faith" is a "sober" measure?
Well, it is some faith; no person in the world can say in the final judgment that God forgot to give him or her that "measure."
Now, our "job" from henceforth is to exercise that "measure of faith" which He has already given us, and it will be fully sufficient to take us all the way, hand in hand with the Savior, into His eternal kingdom. No person's faith is weak; God gave it to him or her.
Paul's counsel is not to humiliate us into the dust; we have been given that "measure of faith" that enables us to hold our head high in the world, and yes, high in the Lord's church, too. A healthy, even vigorous, self-respect is the gift that "faith" gives us here and now.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 10, 2006.
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