“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 measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:3-5, NIV
Living with a westernized worldview, we struggle to understand what Paul means when he says to use the “measure of faith” God has given us. Tim Keller, in his study on Romans, helps us with this thought.
Paul is saying: “All of you have been given your saving faith in Christ crucified, and that is how you are to measure yourself.”
That means we are first to realize we are all the same. Regardless of our background, abilities, etc., we are all saved in Christ. God loves us equally “in Christ.” So we should also think of ourselves. This is then a very direct command to start our self-appreciation by remembering who we are in the gospel. The first “measure” by which we evaluate ourselves is the gospel in which we believe.
Secondly, we are to think of ourselves as having distinct gifts and abilities within the Body of Christ. In other words, we are all different as well. We are not “clones.” Paul elsewhere says that “you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works that God has prepared beforehand for us to do.” Isaak Dinessen put it: “Pride [good pride] is faith in the idea God had when he made you.” We have each been given distinct personalities and temperaments and histories and abilities that equip us for doing a particular set of good works in the world that God has created us to do. So the second way to get a good “self-image” is to get to work in ministry, find out what God has equipped you to do best, and do it with all your might!” Tim Keller, Romans study