The above part of Romans 12:16 grabbed my attention as I was reading God’s Word a few mornings ago. Isaiah, in a litany of woes, states something very similar in Isaiah 5:21: “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!” So we have a clear command in Romans never to esteem ourselves wise and a strong warning in Isaiah concerning the same thing. Here are several thoughts on these humbling verses for believers to reflect upon.
1. This does not mean that we should not think and behave wisely for that too is clearly commanded and commended (Proverbs 4:5,7; 16:16; James 3:13; Ephesians 5:15).
2. This does mean that we must humbly acknowledge that when it comes to “wisdom from above” (James 3:17) we are naturally bankrupt.
3. Because of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, our wisdom is Christ Himself (I Corinthians 1:30,31), which is exactly why we have nothing to boast about except our boast in Him!
4. So we must humbly walk wisely in Christ and in His wisdom alone (Colossians 2:6).
5. So when tempted to think I am a really wise person in and of myself, I am really thinking very foolishly!