By John Gipson
I read of a young lady applying for a position as a housemaid. She showed her recommendations to her prospective employer. After reading them, the woman said to the applicant, “You certainly have some fine recommendations here.” The girl replied, much pleased, “I’m glad you like them. I wrote them myself.”
Do you suppose she might have been a relative of ours? We are good at commending ourselves. It was said of one preacher that he would “strut while sitting down.”
Paul rebuked some of his enemies in the Corinthian church for extolling themselves. He wrote, “Not that we venture to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12).
What a temptation it is to look around and say, “Well, at least I am better than so and so,” and fall into complacency, while patting ourselves on the back. It’s always easy to find someone near us, against whom we show up pretty well.
Rather than measure ourselves with those around us, we are called to a higher standard. We are to press on “until we all attain to…mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”(Ephesians 4:13).
With Christ as our standard, all of us are quickly brought to humility.
As Christians, self commendation is both folly and dangerous. Timothy was told, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed…” (2 Tim. 2:15).
It’s God’s approval that really matters. How do we measure up there?
- John Gipson, longtime minister and elder for the Windsong Church of Christ in Little Rock, AR; via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com