– Jeremy Taylor
Talk about a way that is contrary to the world! How can a person who doesn’t think of himself be rich in the right areas?
Not Thinking More Highly of Yourself
I really struggle with this. I have a tendency to think to highly of myself but when I contrast my life to that of God, I can see just how destitute I am in comparison. Pau was once a proud man…a Pharisee of the Pharisees, a Hebrew of the Hebrews and second to none in his profession (Phil 3:5) but after his conversion he realized that it was “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” (Rom 12:3).
Associate with the Lowly
There is not one Christian who deserves the grace of God and none that can rightly exalt himself or herself above another. That’s because God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Paul exhorts us all to “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight” (Rom 12:16). The literal translation of the phrase “associate with the lowly” means to “give yourselves to humble tasks” and I really like that. As a pastor, I am not above scrubbing toilets and the bathroom floor in our church and in changing the diaper pail in the nursery. I am no better and God is no respecter of persons and I certainly include myself in that regard.
Esteem Others More Highly
Paul hits the mark of this idea when he writes to the church at Philippi saying “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). That’s the idea of true humility…put others interests ahead of your own and esteeming them as having a having a higher value than one’s self, even though we are all equal in God’s eyes because for “those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger” (Rom 2:8) and so we should be “devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Rom 12:10) and “not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Gal 5:26) so that we “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 5:21).
To not think to highly of one’s self is to not think of one’s self at all therefore we should associate with all men and women, regardless of social status and to esteem others as more significant that ourselves because “No man is poor who does not think himself so.”