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“Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”  (Ephesians 4:29, NLT)

Researchers estimate that the average person speaks 16,000 words a day.

Each day, of course, has its own frustrations.  When challenged, do we go with the flow; cursing the situation or heaping abuse on others?  Or, do we choose words that create an island of hope and encouragement for others in the midst of the currents of hopelessness and discouragement?

How many of your 16,000 words today will you allocate to bring light, life, refuge, and encouragement to those who hear you?  – Luther

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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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