“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. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:3-5, NIV) Do you know anybody who thinks more highly of themselves than they ought to? Are they fun to be around? That’s the opposite of love. Here in the (other) love chapter, Paul declares that the result of love is not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but it is a life seasoned with humility and honest reflection. A life of faith does not abandon rational self-evaluation. On the contrary, it encourages us to look at ourselves honestly, and to see ourselves the way God sees us. On one hand, that’s a bit intimidating. God sees my inward failings, my secret sins, my selfishness, and my insecurity. If I think of myself the way God does, then I should be frustrated over my limitations and sad about all my failures, right? Wrong! Because if I truly look at myself through the lens of Grace, then I see my redeemed self the way God sees me, unblemished and full of potential, ready to be made into who He created me to be! I have been given a place in the family, and a role as part of the body of Christ. No one is born in a vacuum; every one of us is designed for relationship, to be part of a bigger team.
If I am willing to take MY story and subjugate it to HIS story, then I will find meaning and fulfillment in my role. Further, Paul says that in the body of Christ we ALL have different roles, and that “each member belongs to all the others.” Anyone who has ever participated in a team activity knows how this works: you make the extra pass, take on extra duty to support a teammate, lay down the sacrifice bunt, take a meal over during stressful times, watch the kids, make the key block, contribute your creativity to someone else’s presentation… There’s an old saying that it’s amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit. I’ve been privileged to be on that kind of team several times in my life, and it is absolutely true. If you are not seeing the results in your life that you’d like to see, ask yourself two questions: What team(s) are you on? And, Who do you belong to?