By Hugh Binning
Now the fountain of uncharitable and harsh dealing is seen in the 3rd verse,”If any man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Since all mortal men are nothing, vanity, altogether vanity, he that would seem something, and seems so to himself, deludes himself.
Hence is our insulting fierceness, hence our haughty rigor. Every man apprehends some excellency in himself beyond another. Take away pride, and charity shall enter, and modesty shall be its companion. But now we mock ourselves, and deceive ourselves, by building the weight of our pretended zeal upon such a vain and rotten foundation, as a gross practical fundamental lie of self conceit of nothing.
Now the Apostle furnishes us with an excellent remedy against this in the 4th verse, “Let a man prove himself and his own work, and then he shall have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” — a word worthy to be fastened by the Master of assemblies in the heart of all Christians! And indeed this nail driven in would drive out all conceit. Hence is our ruin, that we compare ourselves among ourselves, and in so doing we are not wise, 2nd Corinthians 10:12. For we know not our own true value. Only we raise the price according to the market, so to speak. We measure ourselves by another man’s measure, and build up our own valuing of ourselves upon the disesteem of others, and how much we please ourselves.
But, says the Apostle, let every man prove his own worth, search his own conscience, compare himself to the perfect rule; and then, if he find all well, he may indeed glory in himself. But that which you have by comparison with others is not your own. You must come down from all such advantages of ground, if you would have your just measure. And indeed, if you prove yourself, and your work after this manner, you will be the first to reprove yourself, you shall have that glory due unto thee, that is none at all. For every man shall bear his own burden, when he appears before the judgment seat of God. There is no place for such imaginations and comparison’s in the Lord’s judgment.
This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.