For by the grace given to me I ask every one of you not to think of yourself more highly than you should think, rather to think of yourself with sober judgment on the measure of faith that God has assigned each of you.Romans 12:3
What an interesting statement. The measure of faith God has assigned each of you. Let’s turn to the Greek behind the text:
μέτρον [metron] is translated either measure of faith or amount of faith.
μερίζω [merizo] is translated assigned, dealt out, apportioned, given to, imparted, divided, allotted,
From the Lexicon/dictionary:
met’-ron – a measure (“metre”), by implication a limited portion, degree or measure.
merizo to part, (literally) to apportion, bestow, share, or (figuratively) to disunite, differ, deal, be difference between, distribute, divide.
We must also look at the meaning of “faith” in this context to determine what this segment means.
Faith can mean
- our trust, confidence, belief that He is trustworthy – i.e thinking of yourself in terms of the degree or measure to which you trust God
- our belief or faith in God – i.e. our position in Christ, knowing that we are saved by our faith and accepted on no other basis.
- our individual portion of faith as a spiritual gift.
It seems to be this last one that is in Paul’s mind. The gift of faith is different from the faith we need in Christ to open the way to receiving His righteousness.
A sound reading of Scripture gives the sense that there are different apportionments or levels of faith. To one is given great faith to another not so great. But exercise that gift of faith to the fullest nonetheless.
The verb merizo has a clear sense that the end result is a difference in faith, distributing and passing out different measures of faith.
On the basis on that gift of faith you have received look at yourselves soberly. That is a very interesting concept. It is likely that those of us who have a huge gift faith for all sorts of things are more prone to thinking of ourselves highly. “We have this amazing gift of faith, wow I am ahead of others in this regard.” No hang on a moment. Paul is saying the opposite in a sense. However large our portion of faith is, we are to be of sober judgement and not thinking highly of ourselves. He is making this comment before leading into a discussion or a listing of the gifts. Let us not get the cart before the horse. But primarily to come out of all this thinking soberly.
Remember the last Gem? By the exercising of your sober / balanced thinking you move from wrong thinking to right thinking.
God Will Never Give You A Future That Makes Him Unnecessary.Robb Thompson
You don’t drown by falling into the water, you drown by staying there.Bob Gass