Who are we devoted to? Are we devoted to things and systems that oppose God?
Whose standards do we live by in our home?
Do we have high secular standards for our kids or high heavenly standards?
Do we pray about everything and seek Gods best plan for each and every area of our life?
Recently I was talking to someone about homeschooling. They said that I should meet a mother they know but they added that this mother had very high standards for her kids.
I asked the person what they meant by “high standards”.
“Do you mean that they invest thousands of dollars in expensive curriculum or do they work their kids for hours and hours a day to master pre-established academic goals? Do they have high spiritual standards?”
This conversation got me thinking.
So what exactly does having “high standards” mean?
What does it mean to the disciple of Christ specifically?
The first verse that comes to mind is in 1John chapter 2 verses 15-17:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
➡️Do not love the world…
➡️not in him
➡️the pride of life…
➡️is not from the father…
➡️the will of God…
These snippets above jump out at me especially “the pride of life”.
The pride of life. Ah yes.
All the things we want and desire to have for personal gain and fulfillment.
Status, recognition, education, success, beautiful homes, enchanting gardens, fancy clothing, picture-perfect children, money etc. The things we pride ourselves upon.
But God’s standards are way higher, they are not of this world, they are not created in a university or in a laboratory.
His standards are simple and can be found countless times in his word. From the sermon on the mount to the apostolic exhortations throughout the new testament.
➡️We are called to NOT be conformed to the patterns of this world.
➡️We are called to NOT love what the world says we must love.
➡️We are called to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.
➡️We are called to train up our children with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
➡️We are called to pray about everything and at all times.
➡️We are called to apply Gods standards to everything we do, not the world’s standards.
Within the chaotic movement and blinding noise of everyday life, we can lose perspective and begin to slip into worldly conformity.
Conforming to the world’s standards relinquishes the guiding of Gods Holy Spirit and puts us in danger of hearing “depart from me…I never knew you.”
➡️Remember that the son of man, Jesus Christ had nowhere to lay his head at night.
➡️Remember that many of his followers were uneducated men who did not even wash their hands before eating, who could not read or write. Most of them did not have a formal education but God used them in a profound way.
➡️Remember that Jesus turned away the wealthy man and praised the widow who in her poverty gave all that she had.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, please consider who’s standards you are following and why.
Please open up your bible to find out what God really expects of you.
And please don’t frown upon others who don’t meet worldly standards but are close to the heart of God.
In closing, I want to share a short story from a few years ago when I had the opportunity to work alongside a native South African missionary friend who ministers to orphans in East Africa.
I invited her out to eat lunch with several employees. She sat at the table and laughed while she ate. She chewed with her mouth open and savored everything even to the point of licking her fingers.
A few of the staff members commented afterward of her lack of manners and table etiquette.
I sat back and listened and I remember thinking to myself: “She is so precious in Gods eyes who cares how she eats.”
This woman missionary has endured several beatings, one that left her hospitalized for weeks yet she returned to her beloved orphanage and continues to work there until this day.
I believe she will be one of the great ones in Gods kingdom.
I can only hope and pray for Gods Spirit to lead and guide us every day so that we can bring him glory in the way we train up our children and in the way we honor and obey his holy word.
Set us apart Lord so that we may be acceptable in your eyes.