Summary: Why Should We Use Sound Judgment to Consider Our Place in the Body of Christ? – Rom. 12:3
Why Should We Use Sound Judgment to Consider Our Place in the Body of Christ? – Rom. 12:3
As Americans we can be very competitive and outspoken about our success. One enduring characteristics about Americans is our freedom to speak our mind as given to us by the first amendment. We love our personal liberty and really do not like to be bossed around or told what to do. In every congregation prideful attitudes can threaten to disrupt the unity of the body of Christ. For this reason Paul cautions the Christians in Rome about the temptation to think too highly of themselves at the expense of mutual consideration. Let us examine some of the reasons why we should use sound judgment in accordance with the faith to consider our individual place in the body of Christ?
1. Sound judgment is necessary to help each of us avoid glorying in our own importance. We are all prone to think more of ourselves than others because of our sinful and selfish nature. Paul knew that people are always apt to overlook their own faults. Prideful people magnify the specks in their eyes of their brothers while forgetting to remember the logs in their own eyes. Prideful people are often overly critical people whose arrogant attitude causes friction, vexation and disunity. When our spiritual gifts makes us think of ourselves more highly than we should, we get puffed up with a false sense of self-glorification that stifles harmony. Every temperament, gift and talent is a gift from God and should not be used as a badge of personal achievement. Use wise discernment as you consider your place in relationship to the greater body of Christ.
2. Sound judgment is necessary in order to exercise modesty in all things. Modest people are loath to think of themselves to highly because they know that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling. Paul wrote to the proud Corinthians, “What do you have that you did not receive?” The best people in our church are still sinners that have been saved by God’s marvelous grace. Our salvation, redemption and forgiveness give us our freedom by the Creator who has given us the gift of life. Sound judgment is necessary to help us remember that modesty is befitting every individual part of the body of Christ.
3. Sound judgment is necessary in order to maintain good relations with other Christians. Experts tell us that 85% of the success of people in the work place is directly related to their interpersonal relationships. Bad attitude hinder good relationships. Some of the most gifted people in the world struggle to get along with people because they are unwilling to apply energy into the maintaining of healthy interpersonal relationships. Ask the Lord to give you more love for others by not looking out for your own interests but also for the interests of others. Follow the good example that was in Christ Jesus – the true model of a servant.
4. Sound judgment is necessary in order to maintain a good relationship with God. The Bible says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (I Pet. 5:5,6) Not only do we need to show a submissive attitude to God but also to the elders in the body of Christ in order to receive blessings from God. A false humility is often seen in some leaders who give undue depreciation about themselves and their abilities. These people have a conviction that they are of little importance and are secretly crying out for confirmation when they should get their affirmation from God. People who have a poor self-image tend to neglect the use of their gifts because they lack a sense of confidence in what God has done in and for them. Learn to get your sense of worth from the Lord instead of growing dependent on others to affirm, compliment or express appreciation for your ministry.
5. Sound judgment is necessary to treat others kindly and respectfully because we are dependent on other members of the body of Christ for our spiritual health. Americans are individualists and often do not like to admit that they need help from others. But American Christians have to exercise extra discipline to demonstrate mutual inter-dependence for their own mutual edification. Paul wrote, “The eye cannot say to the hand, I don’t’ need you! And the head cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you. On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” (I Cor. 12:21) Never is this so apparent as when the body of Christ starts to experience divisions. Paul was very aware of how the Corinthian church was sharply divided because they failed to exercise sound judgment over people’s gifts, positions and responsibilities. The Corinthians became so jealous and envious of their gifts that Paul was moved to sandwich the great love chapter of I Corinthians 13 in between two whole chapters on the use of spiritual gifts. Ask how you can be kinder and more respectful to those around you.