High Standards October 6, 2022
Most of us work in industries which demand high standards. High standards are necessary to ensure the safety of the public, employees, the environment and to prevent loss. Standards have been established to govern practically everything we do, measure, buy, sell, or build. As an engineer it was necessary for me to meet certain established standards to practice as an engineer. The same is true of doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, electricians, etc.
There are many in our world today who want to relax or erode established standards. A recent news article documents how some university students signed a petition to have a professor removed because an organic chemistry course was too hard and many of them had failing grades. They argued their grades didn’t reflect the time and effort they had put into the class.
Not only are some writing to devalue technical standards but our moral and ethical standards are also under attack. For the most part our moral standards were based on Biblical principles, however, our world has chosen to significantly deviate from those standards. Acceptance of such things as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, selfishness, not honouring commitments (divorce and family break-ups), lack of respect are just some examples of society’s departure from following God’s standard.
Our heavenly Father has provided a standard for us. He first established this standard with the Jewish nation as defined in the Old Testament and it is frequently referred to as the “law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12; Acts 13:15; 24:14; Romans 3:21). The Jewish nation was tasked with keeping this law. Jesus reinforces this in Matthew 7:12-20. Furthermore, God has a desire to establish a relationship with all people. He did this through Christ and His gospel message, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). It is God’s desire that we understand and are obedient to His standard established through His Holy word.
God has set this high standard for us. However, He has also guaranteed us:
- His Word and ways are perfect “The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalms 19:7).
- God and by association His word and ways are unchanging. “For I, the Lord, do not change, therefore you, the sons of Jacob, have not come to an end” (Malachi 3:6).
- God’s standards are high, and He expects us to abide by these standards. Therefore you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
- Through Christ, meeting our God’s standard is attainable. “See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition, in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, rather than in accordance with Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over every ruler and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:8-12).
Are we committed to achieving God’s standard through Christ? Achieving God’s standard requires more than simply putting in time and effort; it requires a full commitment like it was of Israel with their covenant with God in the Old Testament. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).
We have to make a choice. The world’s standards are ever-changing and imperfect; God’s standards are unchanging and perfect. Following the world’s standard will lead to eternal damnation. Following God’s standard through Christ will allow us to reach our eternal Heavenly home. “But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
By Kevin Pickles