If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in Himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Galatians 6: 3 – 5
Remember this Latin phrase: “Esse Quam Videri “which means “To be rather than to seem”? It’s a notable quote that most people recognize, but it’s one in which we seldom stop and think about its true meaning.
If we were to put it in today’s language, we would probably translate it to mean, we need to “keep it real” – to be true to ourselves and to be who we are. We all probably know people who constantly pretend that they are “something” they are not. They not only deceive others, but sometimes they may even deceive themselves. And then there are others who haven’t even put themselves to the test to see who they really are!
In this passage to the new believers in Galatia, Paul is telling them about the good lives God desires them to have. He reminds them that they should never pretend to be something that they are not, but that they should always try to live up to the standards God has set for them – to be the best they can be with what they have been given. He reminds them that without risks, they can never truly know what God has gifted them to do – that they should test themselves to see what actual abilities and talents they possess that they might not even be aware of. God doesn’t want us to use others as our standard for comparing ourselves, but to find what we do best, “carry our own load” and take pride in who we are.
What a timely message for us, as well. By testing ourselves and seeing who God made us to be, we can experience much more joy and satisfaction in knowing what we can do, instead of what we can’t. God gave each of us our individual abilities and He did not intend for us to make comparisons with others, but to gratefully accept our own talents and abilities and use them to serve others. And by accepting those things we can’t do, it might help us to become much more compassionate and willing to help others with the things we can! And who knows what new talents we will find that we never even knew we had!
We need to keep it real. Be true to ourselves and be who we are!
Dear God, what lessons you teach us in your Word. What a good reminder that we need to always be the best we can be and that may mean stepping out of our comfort zone and trying new things. Help us not to constantly compare ourselves with others, but to accept who we are and find joy and satisfaction in using the talents and abilities you have given us to serve you. Amen