Reminders - Standards
Some Christians think more highly of themselves than they should. By elevating themselves, they find that most other people don’t measure up to their standards. They think others should pray more, read the Bible more, study more, act more loving, not be so critical, not watch so much TV, not drive so fast, should go to the same church as they do, etc. On the contrary, there are other Christians who think of themselves as being less acceptable than Christ sees them to be. They don’t believe they are living up to the religious standards that others set for them. They think others judge how they evangelize or if they do it enough, or how much they study the scriptures, or how much they pray. They think all other Christians are better than they are, even elevating some to “right there next to God” status. Most of the rest of us fall somewhere in between, still comparing, but considering ourselves as average, therefore probably acceptable Christians. If you see yourself in one of the above categories, there are two things wrong.
First, if you are going to judge yourself or others, don’t use any person other than Jesus as the standard. When our eyes are looking to Jesus as an example, we all fall far short of His obedience. None of us can measure up to His perfection, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Jesus is the righteous standard by which all are judged. Those who are saved recognize their salvation isn’t earned, and they can only stand before God by having His righteousness. Those who are not saved, try to earn favor with God and will fail without Him in their own righteousness. Isaiah 64:6
Second, Paul says that we should not be comparing ourselves to others. “For we dare not make ourselves of the number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 We are not to be making any comparisons, neither by elevating ourselves, nor by putting others on a pedestal. Our business is to hear and be obedient to what the Lord Jesus is telling us to do. Peter fell into the trap of comparing himself to another in John 21. After Jesus told Peter how he would die, Peter asked what would happen to John. “Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."
Final thoughts: We can’t change what is past, so quit crying over what might have been. And only God has control of the future, so quit worrying about what might happen. But we should be living by faith in the present. Listen for His voice today, agree with what He tells YOU to do, and have no concern over what He is doing in other people’s lives. He is our only standard. Live to please Him, not others.