The Standards that Matter
By Meg Bucher
“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV)
Spread out across the driveway, we scrubbed and sealed and patched the long piece of snap-adorned fabric to ready it for the season. Boat canvas. A high-maintenance cover to protect it’s high maintenance counterpart. Every boater knows that all of the time spent to protect and repair that vessel is paid off in the first sunset of the season.
Like boaters protect their vessels, so God protects us. It’s one thing to accept a compliment on a nice canvas job, but when our talents and abilities are given a pat on the back …who do we credit?
2 Corinthians 10:12 is aimed at the false teachers of Paul’s day. They thought so highly of themselves, they failed to see any elevated level to compare commendation with. Paul’s sarcasm in this verse is a product of what He knows. The standard above all standards is Jesus. And God’s standards on our lives mean more than anyone else’s …even our own. It’s human nature to seek confirmation for a job well-done and a path well-traveled. We look for evidence that we’ve done the best we can do with what we’ve been given, but so often base our happiness in worldly standards of happiness.
No human compliment or standard that will ever fulfillus. Only Christ’s approval will provide the peace we are innately seeking in this life. Measuring our talents up against His will for them is the only way to travel through life knowing we are doing all we can do.
The world’s standards will tell us that we need to achieve certain benchmarks to be happy. One after another we will reach, pass, and move on to the next one …never feeling fully satisfied.
There’s only one way for each life to attain true peace, as individual as we were all created. That’s why comparison is so dangerous. We chase someone else’s benchmark, and all the while miss our own. Jesus died so that we could stop chasing aimlessly. Paint the bottom, prepare the canvas, and then launch her into the water where she will float despite the world’s efforts to sink her. All of the falsities that fly by our minds eye will bead up and roll off her freshly waterproofed canvas.
Live according to God’s standards, found in His living and active Word. The more time we spend with Him, the further anchored we will become in His purpose for our lives. All other standards will bead up and roll off if we are protected by the canvas of Christ.
Father, Praise You for Your protection and Your guidance. Thank You for Your Living Word, that guides our lives perfectly, and Your Son Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to grant us the grace to interpret it. Forgive us for forging our own way, the world’s way. Bless our lives to seek Your way. For we know it is always bigger and better than anything we could ever ask for or imagine.
In Jesus’ Name,