Hey friends, how are you today? How was your weekend? We had a good weekend, over here, in my neck of the woods. We had fantastic weather, blue skies, bright sunshine for the most part. Sunday, we hit our highest church attendance, since the pandemic. Sunday evening also brought us a symphony of sights and sounds, in the form of a thunderstorm. Not just a barely there thunderstorm, you know the ones. They come and go so fast, the ground dries on it’s way out. No, this was a good one, it went on for hours, it was absolutely perfect. So…, how was your weekend again?
I, quite thoroughly, thought I had a perfect weekend, partly because I enjoyed the ‘best’ of the weather. My tomato plants may disagree though, most had to be staked and tied the next day. Sometimes, perfection is in the eye of the beholder. For me, 90° is ‘perfect’ weather, but for others anything over 75° is uncomfortable and irritable. Me, a perfect beach is a sea or ocean front, salty to taste, with crashing waves, while others may think a perfect beach is the edge of a lake (very different). Most of us will agree that at times our idea of perfection lies in our preferences.
But there are times, when our preferences are not the standard for perfection. There are circumstances in which our likes and dislikes of a matter, actually matters very little. And guess what? On these issues, we ought to be thankful our standard of perfection isn’t required. Could you imagine the arguments, the quarrels, the fights, if that were the case?
Can you imagine if I were to set the standard on how you are to be loved? Or how and under what circumstances you would be forgiven? Or when to show compassion or pity? If it were up to me, when would I think of the betterment of others? If I followed my own standard, I would love you, if you loved me. I would forgive you if you begged on bended knees. I would think of your betterment if there was something in it for me. Yes, I know you probably think, you would most certainly do differently. And perhaps you would; I am most certainly the vengeful type. I can hold a grudge. Perhaps you may forgive the first two, maybe the first five offenses, but can you forgive the same offense over and over and over again? Possibly, you may love those who love you, but what about that one who takes pleasure in your pain? Can you still love them?
I am thankful I am not the standard of perfection. I am thankful the Lord evened the playing field. I am thankful we all start at the same starting line. I am thankful you are not awarded more points just because your father was a pastor or because you have more money, or you are more beautiful. I am thankful salvation is free and available to all people, in spite of our short comings. Well actually that is the purpose of salvation, isn’t it? We all fell short of God’s perfection, didn’t we? In some way or another, none of us were perfect enough. We keep nothing of our own perfection. Every good we may have done before doesn’t count, but then, all our evils are also left behind. At the cross, we are all laid bare, we have now been granted a new beginning, and one standard of perfection. This standard does not change, it does not depend on you or me. It provides equal opportunities for all. Thankful, we are, that it’s the Lord’s perfection that truly matters.
We’ve been told how to love, and we’ve also been given an example of true love on display. It’s not up to us to decide who to love or how to love nor when to love. As Christians, the perfect standard has been prescribed. I do not get a vote, not do you. It’s not negotiable. The Lord left nothing to chance and thankfully, He needed none of us to consult Him. You are not better than me, but then again, neither am I better in any way. I did nothing to deserve the Lord’s salvation. I was never ‘good’ enough, nor was I too bad to be shown such love. You are not good enough, but then nor are you too bad. None of us deserve His love, but we’ve all been given it.
The Bible gives us the Lord’s standard of perfection. Our ideas of how to behave as Christians isn’t up to us. Our ‘perfect’ standard is not the standard of perfection. Perhaps the world would be a better place, if we as christians would abide by God’s standard of perfection.
That perfect standard has already been provided. Let us lower the standard for others as we raise the standard for ourselves. Let us choose to remove self and put on Christ.
On our own, none of us are good, but the Lord has provided redemption for all and a new way of living. He has provided a perfect way of living and it is a ‘one size fits all’. We do not look to man for this standard; we are all fallible. There is but One, who is Infallible and it is His standard that truly matters. How was your weekend?