“For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.” (Galatians 6:3-4).
Spiritual self-examination is one of the most difficult commandments contained in God’s will. But, the effects of not doing it, or for doing it ineffectively, are totally unacceptable to the human mind. Failure to know one’s strengths and weaknesses is a sure formula for failure in many arenas, but especially in the spiritual one. And those who think they have no weakness are self deceived. Of all the types of deception that one can name, self-deception is the most deadly. The only inoculation against such deception is an unabashed and undying love for truth (see ).
The reasons for self examination are simple: First, we all have a job to do and the only way we can be prepared to do that job is through self-examination. Secondly, the only way we can determine where we need to grow is through self-examination. Thirdly, growth can only be measured by comparing where we are with where we have been. Relative to the first of these reasons, Paul wrote, “For each one shall bear his own load.” It is to this point that we direct our attention.
For an examination to occur in any arena there must be a standard; it is no different in spiritual matters. And there are a variety of standards from which we can choose. There are books authored by men which may be used to assess our spiritual health. There are teachers that say that the way we feel about ourselves is the all-important measure of spiritual health. Still others teach that the inner feelings prompted by the Holy Spirit are the means by which we can determine the status of our relationship with God. The problem with the latter two in this abbreviated list is – there is no standard! Its all touchy-feely, better-felt-than-told, wispy and abstract feelings! Faith takes a back seat to feelings in such matters. Stated plainly, the Bible knows nothing about such a standard which subjects faith to feelings.
There is a standard against which all spiritual matters ought to be assessed. It is the same standard by which God will judge humanity in the last day. It is the standard which is unchanging and incorruptible. That standard, the one against which all matters religious ought to be measured, is the eternal living Word of God. It is “the measure of faith” which is the same for all men now living or who shall ever live.
Therefore, when Paul said, “Let each one examine his own work,” he was not saying that each person becomes a law to him//her self. He was saying that each person has an obligation to compare himself to God’s standard of right and wrong. And because all are of equal rank one with another, our persons make no difference in God’s eyes; we are all subject to the same requirements laid down by Sovereign God. We are each to bear our own load!
from ‘Today’s Little Lift’ with Jim Bullington March 20, 2015