Check-up Time?

“… judging yourself in comparison with other compromising phony-baloney Christians…?”

Written By: Ray S.  Edited By Phil D.

Passage: Galatians 6

Focus: “Each one should test his own actions.”  Galatians 6:4.

Human beings are pretty good at coming up with all kinds of reasons and excuses for why they are not doing as they know they should.  They can become very creative and skilled in the fine art of blame.  For anyone wishing to make a break with this kind of unproductive living, and reduce the volume of valid criticisms against themselves, Paul offers Checklist1this good advice:Each one should test his own actions.”  The rest of the verse reads this way:Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.”  Failure to do this can too easily cause one to engage in various forms of self-deception—probably the worst kind of deception available.  (It’s bad enough when a person tells his neighbor a lie and he believes it—but worse yet when that person tells himself a lie…and believes it!)  Take note of the verse just preceding this one: If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself (6:3).

Perhaps I’ll paraphrase this verse in my own words: “If anyone draws the conclusion that he is pretty good because he simply judges himself in comparison with other compromising phony-baloney Christians around him, but fails to measure himself against the standard of Christ and His Word, that person will certainly end up with a distorted and inaccurate view of himself.”

I think it may be good to extract from this chapter a few pertinent self-test questions that could help each of us to gain the best score.

(1) AM I PROPERLY “SPIRITUAL”?  I’m thinking of verse 1.  And we only need read chapter 5 again to gain a good understanding of what is meant by “spiritual.”  “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (5:16).  Then there is the standard given concerning the “acts of the sinful nature” as contrasted with “the fruit of the Spirit” (5:19-25).  No one need be left wondering whether or not he is “spiritual” in the Biblical sense of the word.

(2) AM I IN ANY WAY DECEIVED INTO THINKING THAT I CAN YIELD TO SIN AND THE FLESH WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE?  Verses 7 and 8 are great guidelines to understanding the dynamics involved in gaining the right results from life and faith.

(3) DO I EASILY BECOME WEARY IN DOING WHAT IS GOOD AND RIGHT BEFORE GOD?  If the answer is YES, I would be wise to investigate further—in the same way that a mechanic would investigate till he found the cause for an engine that is losing its power and dying.  It could be that I need more than just a little compression test.  It may call for a major overhaul.

(4) DO I TEND TO MAJOR IN MINORS…OR IN MAJORS?  The standard for testing given in verse 15 is a good one.  “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision (best understood as “religion”) means anything; what counts is a new creation.”  Am I really serious about living to please God?  Am I really intent in walking in newness of life according to Romans 6?  Paul put it well just a few verses back: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (5:24-25).


“An honest heart prepares one for a clear vision.”


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