Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour (Gal. 6:1-4).
The context of this quote from the Bible is an admonition to walk according to the Spirit who's fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Walking by the Spirit involves failure which needs correction but we need to be careful. There are two thoughts in these verses that may be helpful: (1) Bearing one another's burdens. (2) Let each one test his own work.

When somebody is caught in a sin, the biggest temptation is to become "Sin commentator." It is very similar to being a Sports commentator. We do a detailed breakdown of what they did wrong and what they should have done instead, without actually having been in the situation ourselves. But this is not right, our reaction should be to see how we can help the person who is caught in a sin. If somebody spins off the road in the middle of winter, do you simply say, "that person is a bad driver," and keep going, or do you stop and help? Talking about how bad somebody is does not help that person, it only makes you think that you are better than you are.

When we compare ourselves to the people around us we lose sight of the actual standard. We are not going to get compared to our friends in Heaven when we stand before the judgment seat. Comparing ourselves to other people deceives us into thinking that we are better than we actually are. This is why the Bible says, "let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not his neighbour." God's holiness is to be our standard.

These two thoughts are not just helpful for individuals but also for churches. We are too quick to criticize other churches for not doing things the way we think they should be done. Let our boasting not be in comparing ourselves to each other, since we are all part of the same household of faith. If we truly have a concern then we should see how we can help, being critical of other people or another church* leads down the road of self-deception.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10).

* Only real churches are in mind here, not simply people who say they are a church.


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