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Sober Judgment

Words of Faith Final

Sober Judgment
Words of Faith 11-5-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Romans 12
[3] For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

What does the transformed life look like?
We all struggle with this question as young Christians and throughout our walk with God. What are we to be like? Do we put on humility? To what degree? And what does that look like, anyway?
Paul wrote to the Philippians, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. [4] Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. [5] Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus..." (Phil. 2:3-5).
Does that mean we are to think poorly of ourselves? Are we to behave in a self-deprecating way? Are we to be confident in any endeavor? There is a classic interpretation of the Christian lifestyle that is humble and wimpish to a fault.
But here, Paul tells us something quite different. We are instructed not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. But neither are we to think of ourselves more lowly than we ought. We are to have a "sober judgment" of self in accordance with the faith God has given. This makes sense. Humility can look to the interests and needs of others without underestimating the gift that God has given us to meet those needs.
A Christian should not wander around with an inflated view of themselves and their contribution, but neither should they adopt a place of assumed uselessness as a sort of feigned humility. Such false humility can actually be a form of spiritual pride. The reality is that Christian leaders can be confident without being egoistic. Christian leaders can be "God-confident" rather than "self-confident" if they apply the measure of faith given. We can have a sober judgment of the gifts that God has given us, apply those gifts with confidence, and always maintain an attitude of gratitude to God.
In fact, it is vital to know one's strengths and spiritual giftings. A preacher should have a sober judgment of that gift. A teacher should have a clear understanding of their strengths and limitations. A musician should know their best refrains as well as the notes and bars from which they should refrain! We need a clear understanding of what God has given us, what He desires to do in us, and where we need to depend most upon God.
Do you have a sober judgment of yourself? As a person under transformation, it may be one of the most valuable tools for your walk with God. You can ask God to help you get a clear understanding. You can also ask a trusted friend. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17). Sober judgment is the starting place from which we can journey to what God wants us to become.

Lord, give me Your evaluation. How am I doing in this walk of faith? Help me to have a sober judgment from which I can trust wholly in You. Reveal to me my strengths and gifts. Show me my weaknesses and blind spots. Help me to find a trusted friend in whom I can confide. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2021 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.