Galatians 6:4-5 (NLT)
4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
Here we find the apostle encouraging others to pay attention to their behaviors, actions and attitudes. Those who are able to complete the tasks in a good manner will find they do not have to compare themselves to anyone else for they have followed what God would have them do. It is each person’s responsibility to understand God’s desires and hold true to them in their life as we strive to be holy representatives of Christ.
I remember one day a teacher passed out a surprise test to all of us in our class. It was a multiple choice test. We were told we were not look on anyone else’s papers, nor were we to look up answers from our papers or books. She made it clear cheating was not acceptable. She told everyone to be prepared by having a pencil out on the desk. Then she walked around and placed the test on each person’s desk and told us to begin. It was a moderately difficult test of material we had been covering. You could tell some were looking around hoping they could see answers or perhaps find the answers on one of the wall charts in the room. Some struggled as they tried to recall answers to the questions. Eventually the teacher called time on the test. But instead of turning in the papers she said we would grade our own. We were to look up the answers and mark the ones wrong we had missed or omitted and circle the correct answer in red. Again some students took advantage of this by correcting their papers as they went. When everyone was finished the teacher said, “I passed out those tests so you could measure yourselves to know how much you understood the material we have been going over. There are some of you who cheated themselves by looking on others tests, or correcting your mistakes where now you don’t know what you forgot. The purpose in the test was that I wanted you to use this test for a study guide to remember what you didn’t know.” What a lesson the teacher taught about the satisfaction of your own work and not comparing yourself to others, but measuring yourself on your knowledge and character. God wants us to read His word, live our lives, and then go back and measure ourselves to His word on how well we are doing. Then we can study the parts we don’t understand and grow in our wisdom, correcting our mistakes along the way and not cheat our way through life.