Monday, March 1, 2010

Rise above the herd!

As we drove through the country on Sunday, I was wondering if I could recognize a prize winning steer in a herd of cattle. If I picked the best specimen I could find, how would I know if it were championship quality? The reality is, I know nothing about cattle or the attributes which make one better than another. I would be lost to chose one based on not knowing the standard of excellence.

I began to think about my own character and how I would be recognized against a standard of excellence. My first thought was that many people would recognize me as a good, moral, encouraging person. When judging myself against the standards of this world, I would guess that I'm above average. So here I am feeling pretty confident....but that's when God reminded me of the true standard of excellence, Jesus Christ. WHOA.

I find myself compartmentalizing my faith into certain aspects of my life and forget that I am called to live a life with the standards God has set for me. When I re-evaluate where I am in comparison to God's standard, I have SO far to go. This is both humbling and grounding.

It's easy to look around and feel like you are living life decently. It's hard to look God in the eye and be convinced that I am living in the fullness of who He has called me to be. After taking a look at ourselves in comparison to the ultimate standard it would be easy to get stuck in how short we fall, but that's where grace steps in...
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" - Romans 3:23 -24

How encouraging, both to have a high standard for us to strive for and to have grace to catch us when we fall. Go ahead and STRIVE for what God has called you to be. Be strong and courageous! I'll end with the words of Paul to the Philippians. For my friends reading this, you will be in my prayers.

3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:3-6

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