Never be wise in your own sight. Romans 12:16
We don’t want to depend on others; we want to stand on our own two feet. And this sense of individual responsibility is surely right and honoring to God.
But listen to what the Bible is saying to us here: “Never be wise in your own sight!” The man who is wise in his own sight feels that he has all that he needs in himself. He doesn’t need to listen to others. The way he sees it, he already has all the wisdom he needs.
There are two manifestations of pride that keep us from living in harmony: One is to think that you are better than others; the other is to think that you don’t need others. Paul says, “The church is the body of Christ and the body has different parts. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’” (1 Cor. 12:21).
The proud person is the one who thinks in his or her heart: I have all that I need. I make my own decisions. I run my own life. I am a Christian. Why do I need to be a member of the church?
Being “wise in your own sight” relates especially to the life of the mind. There is an intellectual dimension to repentance as well as a moral one. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts” (Isa. 55:7). Repentance involves a change in our way and in our thoughts. There are ways of thinking that we must abandon. One of them is the self-sufficiency that says, “I have all the wisdom I need in myself.”
Do you see any of this “proud thinking” in your own life?