3 For 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.
Verses three to eight are a presentation on the spiritual gifts that God bestowed on all believers in the body of Christ. Verses three to five focus on mutual relationships among members of a congregation as a basis for using gifts. The main thrust of verses six to eight is that Christians should not think more highly of themselves than they ought to think, but that they should use sound judgment in how God uses them in the body of Christ.
The directives of verses three to eight come out of the commitment to presenting our lives to God (vv.1-2); these verses are a particular instance of presenting ourselves to God.
by the grace given to me
Paul showed his personal humility by indicating that his gift of apostleship came by the unadulterated grace of God. He spoke out of grace and not from presumption. “Grace” has a dynamic quality; God commissioned and enabled Paul to write the following statements. Paul did not pass on simply good advice but something revealed directly from God. God gave him as an apostle special revelation.
I say to everyone among you
Paul’s warning was to every one of the Roman believers through his apostolic authority. No one in the church is exempt from this caution. The challenge is not only to great leaders of the church but to every believer.
not to think of himself more highly
The word “think” occurs four times in various forms in this verse. “Think” carries the idea of consider, esteem. It is important for the believer to carry a certain perspective toward the church and himself.
Some believers have an inflated view of themselves. They operate under a fat-headed complex. Undue evaluation of self is always a danger. These Christians are high-minded in attitude. Notions of grandeur in the body of Christ violate what the church is all about—mutual edification.
than he ought [must] to think,
The word “than” is a comparison term; Christians should not go beyond what is proper in thinking about themselves. They should not think too highly of themselves but, on the other hand, they should not think too lowly of themselves, either. Both extremes are wrong.
An attitude of super-spirituality lacks the humility of sober self-assessment.
Pride is a danger to any community of Christians. Every Christian should place an appropriate sense of humility upon himself. Those who think that they are something extraordinary operate under the delusion that they are something more than what they are. This kind of self-assessment distorts the proper attitude that God would have for us. A true assessment of our place in the family of God should be a matter of humility.
The issue here is not self-depreciation. We are not to confuse true humility with pseudo-humility. The person who undervalues what he is or can do will not achieve God’s will for him. To despise self is to diminish what God has done for us. There is a place for honoring our gifts.