Posted by George Morrison

When “grade inflation” was highlighted in the press this week it was a term new to most of us. It sounded sophisticated. Rather status enhancing. The truth was quite deflating when we learned that exam results in many schools and colleges were being massaged upwards to enhance their reputation. The students who received these higher grades were not going to complain neither were the educational institutes who wanted to look better in the competitive world of academia. There was, what one columnist termed, an “evaluation deficit”. In other words no one was testing the teachers work. The irresistible temptation to step up the grades because others were doing it produced a similar situation to that of the banks but without the international money market to blow the whistle. That was until the consumers of the products from our colleges got together, Google, Hewlett Packard and Intel – all high users of our graduates – and spelled it out. Our educational standards were only average and average was no longer good enough. Cooking the answer to look good was what one young man did when confronted by Jesus’ question about keeping half of the 10 commandments. “All these I have kept from my youth” he replied thinking that life here was some kind of probation period for life hereafter. (Luke chapter 18 verses 18 – 22). The problem with that kind of thinking is you never know if you are making the grade. You might be guilty of grade inflation on yourself! The man St Luke mentioned thought he had scored 100%. Others of us may be more modest markers but if left to ourselves we would be prone to massaging the figures to look good. However we can relax the Bible has already given us our grade. It says that we are all in the same boat. St Paul, quoting from the Psalms in his letter to the church in Rome writes “No one seeks for God, all have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one”. He was referring to us as created beings not the creator, Jesus Christ, who alone has kept the law 100% and lays it to the account of the repentant sinner who turns to him in faith. Jesus advised the man to get rid of all the things that held him back and “come, follow me”. Making the grade in God’s school is more a matter of divesting yourself of “stuff” and following the only one who can present you faultless on that great day. “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” . (Jude 24/25)