“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3, KJV 1900)
You probably have heard much about an inferiority complex. It is when a person feels inferior to others. This sense of inferiority is a suppressive force in people’s lives that often causes them to be underachievers. They fail to rise beyond the level of mediocrity. However, there is another very dangerous complex. It is a superiority complex, an exaggerated opinion of oneself.
A superiority complex can have a positive influence in that it might give one confidence to push beyond the average. However, it might have disastrous results giving over confidence which can lead to horrendous failures. Yet, it is the influence of the one with the superiority complex on a group of people that can be the most damaging. This is what Paul speaks of here.
After writing about the doctrines of salvation in the first eleven chapters of Romans, Paul begins speaking on the practical side of this theology, namely how true believers are to act out their Christian lives. In Romans 12:3-8, he deals with the church and unity. Unity in the church is essential. However, when there are people in a congregation that feel they are superior to others, this is a recipe for disaster. It can result in factions and the demoralization of others. These things hurt the church at Corinth and caused many to see spiritual gifts that the Lord had not intended for them to use in the body. (More on this later.)
Paul warns believers not to have an incorrect view of their own importance, but rather to be of sound mind, “sober.” A sound mind in the church will realize the importance of every parishioner. One with a sound mind will not consider himself better than others, but regard everyone in high esteem. He will realize that without the other members, the entire church is hindered in its function. Each person in the church has been gifted differently for a purpose.
Believer, do you believe that you are less important in the congregation because others have more visible gifting? Repent from that attitude of inferiority and realize that God has given you a vital position and gift in the church body.
Believer, do you think you are more important than others in the church because of your gifting and position? Repent from your superiority complex, that issue of ungodly and divisive pride. Perhaps if you repent, you will escape the mighty hand of God in humbling you. “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:11, KJV 1900)