Last week I posted a series on worship. I defined worship as “our appropriate response to the self-disclosure of God.” The value of corporate worship is that it energizes the church for its mission beyond the walls. As we present our bodies and become renewed in our minds, we are able to discern God’s will and direction for the body. This past weekend in worship I shared the second element of training camp: checking out our equipment.
“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” (Romans 12:3, NLT).
The first challenge Paul offers following his words on worship is that we should pursue genuine humility. Humility was a cardinal virtue of the early church, a philosophy that was totally counter culture to Greek and Roman thought. The value in Paul’s thinking was that humility would keep believers from becoming status conscious. Humility is not thinking less of oneself than is reasonable, but simply taking on an honest self perception.
An accurate self estimation, though, requires a point of reference. In today’s culture, we estimate our value on the basis of comparing ourselves with others. Am I smarter than those I work with? Do my kids have a higher G.P.A.? Do I make more than my peers? Do I have a nicer home or a more expensive car? Is my spouse more physically attractive that the spouses of others? Am I thinner than my friends and neighbors? When we lack true humility, those questions creep into our heads. The problem with such comparisons is that we seek out the company of those who feed our ego. Every Scott Farkus needs a “toadie” to validate himself.
In the Kingdom of God, we estimate ourselves on the basis of “the faith God has given us.” Our standard of measure is not our neighbor; it is the Lord Jesus himself. When Jesus is our point of reference, we are able to find our true self worth. Our significance is in Him. And when Christ is our source of significance, we can worry less about “self confidence” and more about “God confidence.”