Bible — Studying & Trusting / Blog / Discipleship / Upward Trek

What Standard?

Years ago I was working on a carpentry project and for convenience sake I had left one tape measure at the construction site and another one at the cutting station. On the site I took a measurement for the length of the needed 2X4, set the tape down, walked over to the saw, grabbed a 2X4, marked the length with the tape measure by the saw, made my mark, cut my board, and carried it back to the construction site. It was too short! I shrugged my shoulders, took up my tape measure, remeasured the length needed, walked to the saw, tossed the too-short 2X4 in the discard pile, grabbed a new 2X4, took up the tape measure at my saw, marked the 2X4, cut it, and carried it over to the construction site. It was too short again.  What! This process was repeated a third time—with the same results. What was going on?

I checked the ends of both tape measures to make sure one wasn’t either loose and measuring long or jammed in and measuring short. Nope. I scratched my head, befuddled. I examined the tapes for serious warps or dings, though I doubted that would make a difference of more than an inch. Finally, I noticed that the tape measure I was using at the saw was a regular tape measure and the one I was using at the construction site—which I had just bought—was a tenth-of-an-inch tape. I hadn’t even known that such tape measures existed. Apparently, they are surveyor’s tape measures.

The moral of the story is, things don’t work well when you use a wrong measuring standard. Good motives can’t undo or prevent the problems that arise from faulty standards. Love can’t magically correct them or make them vanish. Faith that things will work out anyway despite the wrong measuring standard is akin to jumping off the top of a tall building and trusting that everything will work out.  You can’t do wrong–or stupid–and naively hope that things will work out differently this one time … just for me.

Now the principle of a measuring standard applies to the spiritual realm as well as the physical. What measuring standard do we use for our faith? For our morals? For our beliefs? For our hope? For our life purposes and goals? Do we use the plain statements of the Bible—the Word of God? Or do we rely on man’s wisdom? Or do we rely on our own wisdom? Relying on human  wisdom or our own wisdom always leads to problems.

Are you consistently applying the standard—the Bible—to your life in every area? Is there any area of your life where you need to surrender to the standard of God? Bear in mind that resisting the standard God has given us is resisting God himself. May I encourage you that you will always come out ahead when you trust the revealed will of God in the Bible. When you surrender and conform to the Word of God, you will soon find out, once again, that “His way is best, it leads to rest.” As we read in Luke 11:28, “Blessed, rather, are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

“Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.”


Lee W. Brainard

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