CONSIDER the “Lake Woebegone” effect. Like the characters in this story of American life, we too are prone to consider ourselves somewhat better than average in a whole range of characteristics.
Ask 100 car drivers if they are better than average, and most will say they are. Impossible! Half must be better and half worse.
We achieve the same miscalculation in our spiritual lives. As believers we think we say the right things, do the right things and read the Bible as we should. But by these means alone none are justified in God’s eyes.
Of course none of us would claim to be better than average in spiritual matters. We acknowledge that we bump along at the bottom. If our spiritual lives were like a driving test, we would fail the theoretical, the practical, reading a number plate at however many yards, again, and again.
But, praise the Lord, God does not ask us to pass tests to prove our Righteousness. Instead, he asks for faith. As Paul told the Corinthians, echoing Jeremiah: boast that you understand and know God, for in these things God takes delight.
Look at Moses. In Deuteronomy 34:10 he is greater than all the prophets and met God. In Numbers he is very meek and humble, more so than those around him. In Philippians, Jesus made himself nothing, humbling himself and being obedient to death.

Our boast is in the friendship we have with Jesus and God. And this should create a Halo Effect. People tend to base their opinions on the traits they observe in others, rightly or wrongly. Israel thought Saul looked good, but he proved to be a disastrous king. The youth David seemed to offer little, but turned out to be God’s chosen one.

We too exert a halo effect. We need to be generous in our actions: what goes around comes around.

Colossians 3&4 helps us with this, as it speaks of 3 lettuces! Let us make room in our lives for: a) the peace of Christ in our hearts(3:15); b) the word of Christ to dwell in us richly (3:16); and c) our conversation to be full of grace and salt (4:6).

A) The greatest source of our peace is Christ’s body, given on the cross, and our place in that body. The emblems are more than a memorial. They are a declaration and demonstration of that peace and our place in Christ’s body, of which he is the head and we are the body, his church.

B) We do not see ourselves as above average, because all we have spiritually comes from Christ. Instead, we lay ourselves open to Christ, looking into every nook and cranny of our lives, to apply the DIY needed in our hearts.

C) Our mouths reveal our hearts, or we are hypocrites. If we lack Christ in our hearts our word has lost its saltiness, its flavour and preserving effect. More so, salt accompanies sacrifice. It makes flames burn brighter. Little wonder Christ’s sacrifice is the light of the world.