In the World–May 19, 2019

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Fifty celebrities, coaches, and other individuals have been charged in a college admissions scandal in recent weeks. This week, actress Felicity Huffman, one of the best known among the accused, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud in paying $15,000 for someone to cheat on her daughter’s SAT test, thus giving the daughter a better chance to get accepted at an elite university. Another parent pleaded guilty to the same charge, admitting he had agreed to pay $250,000 to get his son a water polo athletic scholarship at the University of Southern California, even though the son doesn’t play the sport. Apparently, these people wanted to have their children (and themselves) seen as better than they were.


It seems to be a universal principle that people wish to be seen as better than they really are—and better than others around them. Sometimes, we think we are justified in looking down on entire people groups. The apostle Paul alludes to such a situation in the early church. Some Gentile Christians apparently thought they were better than Jews (even Jewish Christians) because Israel had, as a people, rejected Christ while many Gentiles had been open to the gospel.

  1. How does the college admissions scandal illustrate the evil of human pride?
  2. Have you ever been tempted to think you were better than others, including other Christians? On what basis? How did you overcome the temptation?
  3. How does the Christian view of people contrast with the world’s view?

—Charles R. Boatman
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