Giftedness & Humility

“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”  (Romans 12:3)  Just before Paul encourages each believer to use their spiritual gift, he gives this word regarding the humility with which we are to use them:

Significantly, before he even begins to describe the use of the spiritual gifts in :4-8, he warns each of us “not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think.” Why is this? Because “God has allotted to each a measure of faith”. God has granted a measure of faith (and a spiritual gift) to EACH of His people.  None of us has it all.  Therefore, we should be open to the ministry and input of others. God may speak to you through another’s gift — or He may give them an insight on a situation that you don’t have.  No individual in the church is a monolithic, complete source of wisdom and grace — not even the pastor; not even YOU!

This is why we are in a church BODY. No single individual has all of the wisdom, insight, information, or giftedness that the church needs.  One pastor — even a “great” one (and we need to be careful about what that means!) — does not an effective church make. It takes all of God’s people working together as a body — and a wise pastor is humble enough to realize it is not all about him. He is open to using the gifts, and to benefitting from the input of, the other members of the church to whom God has also given a measure of faith & grace.
What is true for the wise pastor is true for each of us as members as well. None of us has all the anwers. We are foolish, and ignorant of the purposes for which God has gifted others in the church, if we do not consider and benefit from their gifts and insights.  You may have a great spiritual gift, and some good experience and insight, but you do not have everything the church body needs.  Listen to Paul’s admonition: don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought to think. God has given a measure of faith — and gifts and insight — to each member of His church.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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