School is just around the corner, so I thought this devotion would be a good reminder for this coming year. Hope you all have a good, Godly day! –Tammy
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you….For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends,” 2 Corinthians 10:12-13, 18, NKJV.
You’ve seen it. You’ve dreaded it. You may even have hoped for it to be lost, burned or stolen, but each year the teacher brings out a brand new grade book and shows the class the way they will be graded for their work. The teacher defines a “good grade” and a “bad grade”; extra credit and lost homework. Some students roll their eyes and others write down the expectations so they will have something to reference to compare their work as the year goes on. The teacher sets the standard for the subject. What if the students had to decide the grades? What if they took each assignment and decided who did the best and who did the worst? At most, there would be severe competition in that classroom; at least, no learning would occur as each one was consumed with the prospect of outdoing the other.
In the passage today, we are warned not to compare ourselves among ourselves. This would be like the class determining the grades for an assignment without the knowledge and experience of the teacher’s guidance. God says those who do compare among themselves are not wise. They think they are learning life lessons, but they are simply creating standards that do not exist.
The grade book means that the teacher has set the standards and that learning is being monitored and commended within the boundaries of the subject. The passage goes on to tell us that there are limits of the sphere which God appointed to us. Each of us is expected to learn certain things in God’s classroom, and as the Master Teacher, He wisely sets out a course—with its appropriate standards and guidelines—so that we will be able to boast about His working in our lives. When we follow the syllabus—the plans laid out for each one of us by a wise and all-knowing Teacher, He will approve of our work and commend us for a job well done.
Thought provoker: God is looking for those who will follow His plans and not compare themselves to others. Are you willing to sit in the classroom of life that God has planned for you?
Lord, thank You that You are the all-wise Teacher who knows exactly what we need to learn from life’s classroom. Thank You that we are unique individuals, each with our own lessons to learn and a sphere of influence created by You. Help us to refuse to compare ourselves among ourselves, but to look to You for our approval. Your classroom is the best and Your grade book is fair—thank you! Amen.