• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Thinking Too Little Or Too Much Of Yourself

No one cares to be around someone who thinks too highly of themselves but I remember hearing it is just as dangerous to think too little of yourself. When I set up my website there was a like button on the page. I thought of that prayer and disabled it. Too few likes and I will doubt myself and too many likes and I will think too highly of myself. Thinking too little of yourself or too highly of yourself are both dangerous!

We are told not to compare ourselves to others. Paul says that when we do that we get in the way of God using us. 2 Corinthians 10: 12- 13, "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you."

We get caught up in the praise and recognition of others. It is easily done on social media where most post only the good parts of your life. And some people know how to make those pictures look even better! We love getting the glory but one negative opinion and we could be up all night! Sadly, we make choices dependent on the approval of society rather than God. John 12: 43, “...for they loved human praise more than praise from God.” Things aren’t so different today! Paul said in Romans 12: 3, “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.”

When we feel we have had more life experiences than anyone else, we get over confident. This life wisdom is different than spiritual wisdom from God. We shouldn't think of yourself more highly than you ought. We are all spiritually immature on some level and we will never stop learning and growing until Jesus returns. Philippians 1: 6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

People who are successful often fall in the trap of thinking they deserve all that they have earned. They take credit for what God produced. Every good gift comes from God. James 1: 17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” I recently read that none of us really want what we truly deserve! Psalm 103: 10, “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

The other dangerous issue is thinking too little of yourself. These feelings drain you of your confidence and make it hard for you to be kind and compassionate to other people or to worship God. People who are carrying guilt and shame cannot help someone who is hurting. They cannot give God the praise He deserves. Apostle Paul didn’t walk with Jesus like the other Apostles. He said in 1 Corinthians 15: 9-10, “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” This is humility. Paul is putting the other Apostles above himself. He can do that because he knows that he has experienced God’s goodness in his own life. He knows he does not deserve God’s forgiveness or favor but he receives it with a grateful heart. This gratefulness, Jesus’ blood, washes away sin, insecurity, shame and low self-esteem. Someone said, “humility is not thinking less of yourself - it’s thinking of yourself less.”


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