Paul, in Romans 12:5, teaches us that believers make up various parts of one body. It says “So, we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” What Paul was trying to get the Romans to do was change the way they think about themselves. Remember Chapter 12 begins with exhortations about not being conformed to the image of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It’s really all about the way we see, or think about, ourselves. That’s why verse 3 of Chapter 12 tells us “not to think of ourselves more highly than we should.”

This is extremely counter-cultural in our country. America dearly prizes individualism and we always hold up the famous, the glamorous and the rich as the epitomes of success. They are always on the news, in the papers, and on the Television. Our culture despises anonymity, while Christ honors it. We, like those at the tower of Babel, want to make a name for ourselves, while God has given Christ the name that is above every other name. God calls us to lose ourselves in and for Christ, but the world calls us make ourselves stand out. If we can make a name for ourselves we will be successful. Alan Richardson says it well: “The hatred of anonymity drives men to heroic feats of valor or long hours of drudgery; or it urges them to spectacular acts of shame or of unscrupulous self-preferment. In its worst forms it tempts men to give the honor and glory to themselves which properly belong to the name of God.”

Truly, this is what Paul is referring to when he talks about not being conformed to the thinking of this age, but be transformed in how we think. He wants us to put Christ first in our thinking and in our service. If we’re truly going to be successful and hear “well done good and faithful servant” we have to put the advancement of Christ ahead of self advancement. This begins with changing the way we think. A. W. Tozer writes, “We can never get too weak for the Lord to use us—but we can get too strong, if it is our own strength. We can never be too ignorant for the Lord to use us—but we can be too wise in our own conceit. We can never get too small for the Lord to use us, but we can surely get too big and get in His way.”

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5