Never Be Wise In Your Own Sight

If a twelve-year-old makes A’s in school and generally makes wise choices, how would you help her apply this verse to herself?

Never be wise in your own sight. (Romans 12:16)

You might say:

  1. It means that you gladly admit that all true wisdom is from God. It is his, and not finally ours.
  2. It means that you recognize that any sense of superiority comes from comparing yourself only with your inferiors. But the most important person to compare yourself with is God, and he is infinitely wiser than you. Not only that, there are a lot of people in the world wiser than you.
  3. It means that you feel humbled by the fact that you are a sinner deserving of God’s wrath, and that you are amazed at the grace that gives you eternal life. This humility and amazement swallows up a sense of pride.
  4. It means that you do not count yourself worthy of being served, but rather “empty yourself” and become obedient and serve others, both the wise and the foolish.
  5. It means that you are mainly not thinking about yourself at all but taken up with how admirable Jesus is and how wonderful his works are and how interesting and needy others are.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.