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“If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.  Each one should test their own actions.  Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”  (Galatians 6:3-5, NIV)

Today’s scripture warns us against self-deception, pretense, and the perils of comparing ourselves against others.

Elevating ourselves at the expense of others is easy: We can always find someone else less virtuous, less compassionate, less generous, less devout, and less holy than we.

However, God doesn’t grade on the curve.  Jesus is the hard standard for divine judgment.  All other standards are either false or deceptive.  How do we compare when measured against Christ (which is a practical translation of what it means to be “Christian”)?

When we think we are something we are not, we act in accordance with our deception and are, in effect, pretenders.

Exhibit moral courage!  Always see yourself as God sees you, and live-up only to His standard.  Then, you will have no fear of being uncovered as a plagiarist, a pretender, or a prideful poacher.  – Luther

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“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  (Ephesians 4:1-2, NIV)

Live up to your calling.

This is the message from Paul — writing from prison in Rome — to the Christians in Ephesus (a city in modern-day Turkey).

Our calling is the highest of all callings, yet we are instructed to be humble.  Our calling often leads us into the coarsest of situations, yet we are expected to be gentle at all times.  Our calling gives us access to the wisdom of the ages, and the knowledge of the Almighty; yet we are also called to exhibit patience, forbearance, and love.

Are you living up to your calling as a disciple of Jesus?  – Luther

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