By Elizabeth Prata
Do I think more highly of myself than I ought? Of course I do! Just like Peter. Here’s Peter-
Peter: When Jesus asked the disciples if they want to leave Him too, Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” (John 6:67-68)
Peter again: But Peter repeatedly said insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Mark 14:31).
Also Peter: I never knew him! (Matthew 26:74).
We are warned not to think of ourselves too highly. There is only One who truly knows us inside out, and that One is Jesus. He knows what is in every man. (John 2:23-25). We may think we know ourselves, but we do not.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
Barnes Notes says of the Romans verse, "Not to over-estimate himself, or to think more of himself than he ought to. What is the true standard by which we ought to estimate ourselves he immediately adds. This is a caution against pride; and an exhortation not to judge of ourselves by our talents, wealth, or function, but to form another standard of judging of ourselves, by our Christian character"
The humility we are supposed to cultivate is for the good of the church. As believers walk with the Lord individually, we also walk with Him in unity. We are a congregation, and the local unit of believers comprising the church should reduce themselves in thought rather than elevate themselves for the good of the one anothers. This is because spiritual pride is deadly in the church.
Peter was given great insights by the Holy Spirit. Peter also thought he knew himself, but Jesus knew Peter would deny Him within hours, and with curses, too. James and John wanted to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand in the kingdom. Jesus asked them if they were able to drink the cup prepared for Jesus and they said without hesitation, “We are able.” The two of them were thinking of themselves more highly than they ought.
We should not think too highly of ourselves. We don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do.
When pride comes, then comes dishonor;
But with the humble there is wisdom.