Saturday, 11 June 2016
But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Galatians 6:4
Paul’s words here are an admonition to not make evaluations about our own life and conduct in comparison to others. When we see another fall and say, “I’ve never done that,” we tend to get smug and self-confident. Rather, he exhorts us to “each examine his own work.” We are to use a set standard of who we are which does not include others. Our standard should then be that which comes from God, which is Scripture.
As God is the ultimate standard, and as His word has been given to us for the rule and guide of our conduct, then we can examine ourselves impartially in relation to it. The word “examine” gives the idea of “proving by testing.” If we have gold, we prove it by melting it down and checking for impurities. When the impurities are taken away, we have proved the purity of the gold.
When we prove ourselves against the word of God and then remove the impurities it identifies, then we “will have rejoicing” in ourselves alone. We will be able to say, “I have aligned my life and my actions with the true standard which is above all others.” This is where our sure rejoicing, or glorying, will lie.
In testing ourselves against another, there will always be fault, because all others are faulty. No matter how many times we look better than those around us, we can never truly know how secure we are against the ultimate standard. But when we prove ourselves in relation to Christ and His word, we can make positive corrections towards that which is pleasing to God.
Life application: Without Scripture, we truly are ships without rudders. We are cast about in a raging sea of confusion. But when we align our lives according to the true manual for mankind, we find purpose and direction for our wayward souls. Keep your nose in Scripture!
Lord God, comparing ourselves against the failings of others is a pitiful place to find self-righteousness. Rather, when we compare our lives and actions against the true manual for mankind, the Holy Bible, we can be confident that we are on the right path. In this, we can be pleasing to You because we are following the precepts You have handed down to direct us to the safe shores of heaven’s paradise. Give us the wisdom to pick it up, read it often, and apply it to our walk and conduct. Amen.