April 10, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
“Mind not high things.” This is good advice from our Lord. This small verse is filled with words easy to understand; only five of the twenty-six words have more than one syllable. However, the wealth of knowledge in this verse is immense. It reminds one of a small block of those plastic explosives as seen in the movies; a small package but a large bang. The advice of this simple verse is contrary to the popular philosophies of our day. We live in a day in which everyone is encouraged to be a free thinker, to be unique, to be different, and to challenge the norm. Of course, that type of thinking is directly opposed to being of the same mind with other believers.
Also, we live in a time when powerful people, affluent people, successful people, popular people, people that are exalted and lofty are clamored after. But our Lord tells us to “mind not high things” this of course, in context, is speaking about people in high places. We know this because this phrase is connected with the command to “condescend to men of low estate.” No doubt Almighty God knew that our nature would be such as to draw us to highly placed individuals, so He reminds us here not to forget all spectrums of people, especially those of meager means.
Dr. Bob Smith taught a “Practical Church Ministries” class for many years in Bible College. In that class he taught that a proper mindset about focusing a church ministry on various socio-economic groups should be developed. His instruction is of value here. He said to take a survey of the area in which the church ministers, if 5% of the population is upper class, spend 5% of your time and resources on reaching them. If 15% of your area is underprivileged, spend 15% of your time and resources on reaching them. If 80% of your town is middle class, then try to spend 80% of your time and efforts in ministering to them. Oftentimes today ministries spend 80% of their resources to reach the 5%, or 5% of their resources to reach the 15%.
Most people are predisposed to only like people that are just like them. Frankly though, most people are “wise in their own conceits,” or in other words they have an inflated opinion of themselves. This is why the Apostle Paul reminds us to “condescend to men of low estate.” Think about it, Jesus, the greatest hero of all time did this. Without Him fulfilling this verse we, who in comparison to Him are all of low estate, would have no hope, none at all.
William Howe, Ph.D.