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 faith God has distributed to each of you.
Have you ever gone into a house of mirrors? Remember the distorted mirrors that appear to make you look tall or short, fat or thin, or otherwise distorted? A hall of mirrors can be fun because no one really takes the reflection seriously. On the other hand, some have accused some clothing retailers of using slimming mirrors that make customers appear to look thinner in order to help store sales.
Having an accurate view of ourselves is even more important when we consider our strengths and weakness, our character and abilities. I remember how Tim Keller described an example of a distorted view as “popular culture often tells young people, “You can be anything you set you mind to.” But it is cruel to say that to a five-foot-four-inch eighteen-year-old boy, who yearns, more than anything else, to be an NFL linebacker.”
The point is that we should see ourselves realistically. In the passage above, Paul continues his practical challenge by encouraging us to take a good look at ourselves and then think of ourselves accurately. He cautions to not think too little or too highly of yourself, but to be honest about who you are, that is, who you are in Christ. No distortions. No false confidence.
So, how accurate is your view of yourself? This idea is closely related to yesterday’s passage because a mind that is being renewed is in a much better position to see clearly and is less likely to have either an inflated or deflated self image.
There are a number of tools that can help point you in the right direction, but if you have trouble answering the question, consider asking some true friends to honestly describe your strengths and weaknesses.