September 11, 2018

Remembering That It's All a Gift Will Encourage You to Leave Behind Comparison!

Romans 12:3

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Gifts of Grace

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Remembering That It's All a Gift Will Encourage You to Leave Behind Comparison!

Bio | Elizabeth Tamlyn

Hello! I'm Elizabeth Tamlyn, and I serve in various ministries in various roles—some at Watermark and some outside the church. I try to be intentional about my passions: family, God's Word, relationships, and serving. With intentionality and passion come energy and enthusiasm about life! But sometimes being intentional leads me to over-evaluate everything, which then leads to focusing on myself. Praise God that He is working on me daily so I can die to self and become more like Him.

Central Truth

When we realize that ALL we have is from God, we will have the right attitudes toward ourselves and the grace, faith, and gifts we have received! Then we can serve wholeheartedly and effectively, and we can bless others in our path!


Devotional | Romans 12:3

It's funny that Paul begins this section by reminding us of the grace given to him. If we all really remembered the grace given to each of us, we would not have the issue of thinking of ourselves too highly....

It's funny that Paul begins this section by reminding us of the grace given to him. If we all really remembered the grace given to each of us, we would not have the issue of thinking of ourselves too highly. We start thinking we have something to offer in our own strength like a gift or a skill that we have attained on our own. Paul points to the fact that grace was given to him. Then he speaks of the faith each of us has been assigned. Both are from God.

Having sober judgment is the best and logical response because I did nothing to earn, work for, or deserve the grace, faith, or any gifts He chooses to give me. I tend to miss the mark on thinking too high or low. Too high sounds like: "Yes, I got this." Too low sounds like: "Everyone is better than I! Poor me!" Both attitudes are actually prideful, and Scripture tells us pride "goes before destruction" (Proverbs 16:18).

Memorizing Scripture has been a huge blessing for me. It helps me capture my thoughts and reminds me who God is. Everything I have comes from Him, and when I remember this, my response is a humble, grateful heart. An accurate view of yourself is what is needed to contribute to the kingdom in the most productive way. You have been given much: grace, faith to believe, and gifts. So it's not really about us. Our job is to be faithful with what we have been given without comparing it to what others have been given. Thinking of ourselves too highly is pride, but thinking of ourselves too lowly is actually also pride. If we pity ourselves and feel sorry about our lot in life, it indicates that we think we deserve better or deserve more. Self focus is destructive. It's all about Him, not me.

Having sober judgment begins with an accurate view of who God is and what He has done for us. Only then do we turn from pride to humility and can serve Him wholeheartedly and with great joy! 

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Discussion Questions

1. Do you tend to think of yourself too highly or too lowly?  Have your ever considered that thinking too lowly of yourself—or engaging in self-pity—is really pride? How can you adjust that wrong thinking to make it more in line with God's view?

2. What is one passage of Scripture that you can meditate on (or memorize!) to keep you "God-focused" instead of being "me-focused"?

3. Consider the ways that God has blessed you and spend time thanking Him for it. Write it down so you can remember!



6 Comments available

greg jones 10 months ago

Elizabeth, the honesty in your bio shows up in your devotional. Thank you.

Q2 This is the scripture that has come to mind as I have meditated on overthinking, Matthew 25:14-30. Over thinkers need a plan, when I fly I want an air traffic controller who is a over thinker on the ground. If I’m ever in a plane that’s going down I want a pilot who’s like a kamikaze with a change of heart. That guy doesn’t over think flying a plane but somewhere in flight quickly try’s to learn the next step of a new plan. And that has nothing to do with Matthew 25:14-30… God getting back to me says. Here’s the plan-here’s a talent there’s a hole take the next step I’ll be back. The risk is being satisfied with only the knowledge that others give me about the one with the plan.

Michael Scaman 10 months ago

Q1 Probably veer off too high but I get reminded in Isaiah 57:15 that the high and holy one dwells with the humble, contrite and lowly

Michael Scaman 10 months ago

Proverbs 16:18 says pride goes before a fall and humility before honor

Q2 I like Psalm 119 because almost every verse is a relentless reception of God’s word and also every verse is a prayer and a relentless plea for help from God to live it out Took me 3 years to memorize

Sue Bohlin 10 months ago

Good morning, dear Elizabeth! Thank you for blessing us with your wonderful devo!

I zeroed in on the last part of the verse, “each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” What a timely reminder that not only does God give us the faith to trust in Him, He determines the capacity of that faith. He may give one person a thimble, and another person a gallon. But both can glorify Him equally when they use the full measure of their faith to trust Him. 100% full is 100% full, regardless of the size of the measuring vessel.

Lindsey Driscoll 10 months ago

Q2- HE>. “He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30. He must become greater in how I spend my thought time in awe of His greatness, learning his character, and reveling in the gift of grace we have received.

Hugh Stephenson 10 months ago

17 years ago this day was just another Tuesday. Thanks be to God for all He has given me and us. May my hope be in Him alone.

Verse 3 grabs me today. Thinking too highly of myself is a deadly trap into which I consistently fall.

As I heard a friend say, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

I am a task oriented “do” person, not really a “be” person. It is very easy for me to fall into the trap that whatever gifts God has given me in my “doing” somehow make me superior.

Confession: Having been blessed with amazing healing from the recovery ministries I am easily tempted to look at someone else and say - “that person needs re:gen”. Other than Jesus, I have no idea what anyone else needs. God led me into Prodigal and re:gen at 55 - Is my timing better than His?

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