Satan just cannot abide Christians walking peacefully and happily along the middle of the road of our lives. He will either try to shove us or shame us or intimidate us into sliding off into the ditch of insecurity, despair, and depression on one side. Or he will lure and flatter and entice us into the other ditch where smugness, arrogance, and pride rule. He loves it when we attempt to make ourselves look bigger by making other people look smaller.
“Gnôthi sautón,” said the ancient Greeks. “Know yourself.” Easy to say; hard to do. How can we cut through the fog of Satan’s lies and the fever dreams of our sick culture and our own strong tendency to self-deception and actually accurately assess ourselves? “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” (Romans 12:3).
God has given us several important gifts in self-understanding. One is his Word and the faith in our hearts that listens to and trusts that Word. The Bible is a corrective word when we are wrong and weak and a commending word when we are aligned with God’s ways. Another is our family. Who better has the confidence to tell us when we’re out of line?
You generally can’t go wrong when you make other people feel important.