Grading on a Curve

Bill Brinkworth

Grading on a Curve

I loved it in school, when the teacher graded us on a curve. It was a grading system that did not use standard percentages, but was comparing our grades to the best grades in the class.

At one time, the best grade in the class was a 75%. It was then that my normally failing grade of 59% became a “C.”  “Alright,” I sighed. I was not as bad, as I figured I was.

The truth of the matter was I still did not perform the way I should have on the test, just because the standards were lowered. I still did not know the material. I may have gotten away with not failing, but I had fallen short of what I should have expected of myself.

Too many today compare themselves to others in similar fashion when we hear them say:


Again, the truth was that all instances of wrongdoing were still wrong. Justification of one’s bad actions does not make them correct. It just eases the guilt and conviction — sometimes.

Others should not be the standard of measurement for righteousness. How can we judge what is right or wrong? We are sinners like everyone else. We have no right to do the judging, but God does. He has never sinned and hates sin. Ultimately, He will be the judge of our sins — especially if one is unsaved.

To God, all sin is bad. All sin displeases Him, and much of the time, cuts off our communication with Him.

Here are some examples of what the Bible says about God’s perspective of comparing ourselves to others:

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”Romans 3:23

In good education, grading on a curve is a poor way to truly measure  performance. It is also pretentious of us to compare ourselves to others. Wrong is still wrong no matter what degree of “wrong” is committed. God does not grade us on a curve. He judges us by His standards, not ours. He always wants us to do right, and He does the “grading”!

  “God’s Word should be our only measuring tool of righteousness.”


This article was featured in The Bible View #84.

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