Years ago, Doug & I went through a Grip-Birkman training session— which combines personality & spiritual gifts in order to help teams of Believers work together.
One of the verses the trainer focused on has continued to convict and challenge me in the years since:
“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.” ~Romans 12:3
During the training, we were each paired off with someone who did not know us, and each pair was given the assignment to soberly, judiciously, talk through specific things:
- What spiritual gifts we’d seen God use in us
- Walk through specific instances where those gifts had been used
- Identify what spiritual gifts others had affirmed/noticed IN us
The partner assigned to us was meant to act as an unbiased examiner and sounding board, helping us think critically, dispassionately, and sober-mindedly about the ways God had used us within the Body of Christ.
It was a great exercise, and confirmed some things in our lives that God continues to use to shape and help Doug & I as we reach decision-making moments. Soberly considering how God has worked in our lives in the past, and remembering how He has used us in His Kingdom, helps us to consider where to invest NOW.
So that is one way God has used the verse in my life– to help me soberly consider the past in order to understand how God has built me as an individual.
A second way God is using the verse in my life is to challenge me to soberly consider the present (who and where I am, today).
SOBER ESTIMATION OF ME, TODAY
When I do that honestly & soberly, I’m humbled & given specific areas for growth. I’ve thought for pretty much my whole life that I’m a strong woman. But God is showing me a lot of areas where I am weak.
One is this: my anger “fuse” is too short. I light up and explode far too easily. That is ESPECIALLY a temptation in the trying-to-find-a-new-normal postpartum days. So I’ve been working on that, lately, in these ways:
- Trying to purposefully lower my voice when I sense irritation growing.
- Lowering my expectations of others… particularly my children– reminding myself often of their humanness & what I was like at their age(s).
- Raising my expectations of myself (in regard to self-control– I’m not “faking it”… but actually walking in the self-control that IS mine in Christ Jesus).
- And asking for forgiveness quickly when I choose sinful anger over self-control
Whenever I “soberly estimate” who I am and how God has made me, I walk away both encouraged and challenged. I am simultaneously more aware of the gifts given to me to steward, as well as humbled by the truth of my sinfulness.
Living in the light of God’s grace gives us clarity about:
- the gifts we possess
- areas where He is calling us to grow
- our failures,
- and the means of redemption for those sins.
I am so thankful for the grace of God that lets me walk in the light.