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Galatians 6:4

ESV But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
NIV Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,
NASB But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting, but to himself alone, and not to another.
CSB Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else.
NLT 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.
KJV But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
NKJV But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

What does Galatians 6:4 mean?

Paul has just given a warning to Christians, seemingly those who refuse to allow others to help carry their burdens or who refuse to help carry the burdens of others: If you think you are something when you are nothing, you're only lying to yourself (Galatians 6:3).

Now Paul instructs us to test ourselves against ourselves, rather than in comparison to others. In other words, we should develop the habit of looking at our work in the power of the Holy Spirit and asking, "Was this effective? Was this meaningful? Was this truly helpful? Did I reflect Christ in this?"

We should take the time to make that honest analysis, instead of merely comparing ourselves to the people around us. Then, we can truly enjoy what we see God accomplishing through us, in real humility. Paul's use of the word "boast" is not about bragging or a sinful pride in ourselves. It's about honest measurement of what is true.

He put it this way in Romans 12:3, "…I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."
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