When a high school student attempted to us a thermometer to measure a table, his teacher was completely dumbfounded.  During his 16 years of teaching this teacher had witnessed many sad and shocking things. But even he was amazed that a student could make it to high school without knowing the difference between a ruler and a thermometer.

When a teacher friend told me this story, my heart sank for the student and others like him who have fallen so far behind in their education. They cannot move forward because they have not yet learned basic lessons of everyday life. But then a sobering thought came to me: Don't we sometimes do the same thing when we use wrong spiritual measuring devices? For example, do we assume that churches with the most resources are the most blessed by God? Do we ever think that popular ministers are more godly than those with on a few members?

It seems to me that the proper measure of our spiritual condition is the quality of our lives, which is measured by such attributes as lowliness, gentleness, and long-suffering. Bearing with one another in love is a great indication that we are moving toward God's goal for us: the measure of the fullness of Christ. Our love for God can be measured by our love for others.