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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)

TITLE: Standards
By Bill Dotson


We all have standards by which we live; benchmarks that govern, direct, guide, and limit our actions. The phrase from the 60s, “If it feels good do it.”, actually came from a perversion of a quote that can be traced back to 1904, “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”, and also has ties to the Wiccan religion. If we say we have no standards and are free to do as we please, that in itself is a standard. Can we agree we all have a set of standards?
How we dress in church, how we act in public, how we talk, our ethics, sportsmanship, and manners. Where did it all come from? Things we will do and things we won’t do, things we will or will not allow, or the limits to how far we will go. Will you allow yourself to act one way in one place or around some people and not in other places or before other people? Does the country you’re in make any difference? Does family make any difference? When is it OK to break your standards or go beyond your limits, or is it OK? How strict are you on yourself? Do your standards change? Does it make any difference in this messed up world? Who cares…it’s your life isn’t it?
Where do we get our standards? Mom and Dad, (or maybe it’s Mom OR Dad), Grandma and Grandpa, or other relatives? Do they come from Sunday school or church? Do your standards come from where you live, from your friends, TV, music, or books? What is the measuring stick that you go by? And…are you measuring up?
Well, I’ve asked a lot of questions here and hopefully I’ve gotten you to think about your life and self-imposed or inherited standards that apply to you. What’s the answer? I think you know where I’m going with this. It is your life and it DOES matter because people are watching you and depending on you. Jesus should be our standard; the measuring stick we should be trying to live up to. We were all born with a purpose. Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” (John 15:16). He wants us to produce good things and how do we accomplish that? “For God called you to do good… He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21, NLT). Follow Him, do what He did, say what He said, live like He lived, and we will get results like He got. Those should be our standards.
I hope we will all take another look at our set of standards and do a personal assessment of how we measure up. How far we are up the standard ladder will be different for most of us but we all need to continue striving for the top. Jesus will be there to help us and teach us how to get to the next level. Set your standards high and do not compromise them. The apostle Paul advises us, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24). I’ll let you in on a little secret…if we run the race according to the standards; we’ll all get the prize.

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This article has been read 221 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/17/13
This is an interesting little sermon. You make some wonderful points and do a nice job of making the reader stop and think. That is always a good thing.

This is just my opinion and I know others don't feel the same way as I do. But when an author starts asking the reader direct questions it makes me feel like I'm being lectured. I think sometimes you can be more effective if you share a personal story or belief. Example: Wearing holy jeans in church may make some people uncomfortable, but I believe that God doesn't care what my clothes look like. He's much more concerned about the appearance of my heart.
That may not be exactly what you were trying to say but I hope it helps show you what I mean.

I think you did a great job of covering the topic. The Bible verses you use are a great match for the points you are making. You started off with an interesting tidbit that drew me in. I'd never heard that before so I found it quite fascinating. Your last sentence was awesome. I believe it really packs a punch and brings the story full-circle. It's an excellent bit of advice. You did a fine job on this piece.
Joanne Sher 01/20/13
Some excellent points for us to all ponder. Would love a personal example or two, to make this a bit more engaging. Great message for sure. Thank you.
Colin Swann01/21/13
Some great teaching and informative material here which is interesting. Try the 'Chuck a Brick' for this topic, in the forum, to get extra comment.
C D Swanson 01/22/13
Multi messages and meanings to this piece. Nicely done.
God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/13
Congratulations for ranking seventh in level 1! The top 12 rankings in each level can be found on the message boards.