Sober Judgment and “Self-Esteem”

Sober Judgment and “Self-Esteem”

Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 

We live in a culture of influencers, social media, and reality TV and people constantly going against the idea in Romans 12:3 not to “think of himself more highly than he ought to think” under the guise of “self-esteem”. It’s adorable.

Most of us think we’re smarter than we are and better than we are.

We’re supposed to think of ourselves with “sober judgment” and, for some people, their assessment of themselves seems like they’ve been drinking. They need to be a little more sober.

Let’s be honest. When you put together a resume, do you include all the good things and maybe leave off all the bad things? On a college application, do you say “Well I sleep through class a lot, but I’m good at cheating” or do you tell the truth? The answer to both of these is, of course, yes. We find creative ways of presenting ourselves.

What Paul is talking about here is asking God “Who am I? How did you make me? Where do I fit? What’s my role?” The truth is we tend to overestimate and inflate who we are if we ask these questions of ourselves instead of God.

Humility is just being honest and agreeing with God. It’s knowing who you are, why God made you, and where you fit and being content with that. Not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.

There’s something radically delightful about being content and having an attitude of gratitude. In this world, the lack of humility is causing the lack of contentment, so people don’t have any joy. We spend our days trying to make more money than we need, impressing people we don’t know, assuming responsibilities God has not assigned us, and winning fights that don’t matter. Humility allows you to find your place on God’s team and be joyful that, in the end, you’re on the winning team.

Do you find humility easy to practice? How can you grow in humility this week?

To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit or download the Real Faith app.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]