What Is Your Standard?

Several nights ago I was visiting with one of “my girls.” This girl is a Christ follower and one whom I admire for her faith and her athletic ability among many other things. We were playing catch up and our time is usually spent “talking out” frustrations, praying and seeking God for all of life’s situations. We discuss everything from school to sports to relationships, etc.

This particular time we were working through her frustration of being on time for practice. The coach had set a specific time for practice but most team members were usually late which didn’t seem to bother the coach. We talked about her frustration but as we always do….we talked about what she could control! She is only responsible for herself! We discussed how she was not the coach nor accountable for the coach’s actions…nor her teammates, but that she was responsible for her attitude and her actions.

I understood her frustration…Why set a time?…if it is not enforced? She also felt violated…I get that because when you are late….to a scheduled event/practice….you are showing disregard/disrespect to everyone else on the team and basically being self-centered…by not valuing their time or the greater good of the group. I validated her feelings, but then we had a talk about who she was playing for. Who was she ultimately trying to please? The answer was God. I encouraged her to take her eyes off of man.

In life, no matter what situation you find yourself in, we have to take a step back at times and decide if are we trying to please God or man.

Most of the time God has placed us in situations according to His will and purpose. In other words, we don’t wait to see how our employer, coach, teammates, co-workers, friends, etc. treat us before deciding how hard to work or how often to be on time. We do those things because it is the right thing to do regardless of whether or not anyone else does them. Rather, we work as if Christ were our overseer, for in reality, He is.

We have to have the “eyes and thoughts” to see and recognize that God places us where He wants us to make a difference as his servants. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance for the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

It is so easy to want to take the attitude, “Well, if no one else is doing it, why should I?” Or, it could be flipped and you could also say, “Well, everyone else is doing it, so I can too.” NOT!! That is such dangerous thinking. It is in that moment that it is so important…to have a standard set for yourself that does not allow for a “comparison” to man…but only to God and His word.

Most of the time…I find that God’s standard “feels” different than what our flesh “feels” like doing…but 100% of the time when we choose God’s standard, there are rewards…sometimes we don’t receive them immediately, but over time….God rewards those who seek Him and live to please Him. Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

To sum things up…
What is your standard?
Who do you look to for affirmation?
What is your playbook?

This is what I know…God is everywhere. Any situation has the potential for becoming extraordinary when obedience to God is the standard. His presence dramatically changes the circumstances. There is no limit to what will happen. From man’s perspective this process is unexplainable. From a kingdom perspective it is the normal way God accomplishes His will through us.

Choose Christ as your standard and the Bible as your playbook. “To obey is better than sacrifice,” 1 Samuel 15:22.
Take a step back and reflect on your thinking and your actions. Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me Lord Lord and do not do what I say?”

God is in the “extraordinary” business…He always has been and always will be…..the only reason why we don’t experience more of the “extraordinary” is because we may be reading the wrong “playbook” or following the “ordinary” which would be man.


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