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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 24, 2019

What is our standard?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

How far have we come in our relationship with God? How should we measure our progress?

There were apparently some in the early church — and likely throughout history — whose used themselves as the standard for evaluation. The apostle Paul admonished the church at Corinth about this: "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Paul's admonition reminds us of Jesus' parable about the pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee felt comfortable in his relationship with God because he compared himself with other people, including the publican: "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector" (Luke 18:11).

However, the absolute standard for our relationship with God is not other people, but Jesus Christ: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). Christ is to live His life in us (Galatians 2:20).

If we aren't supposed to compare ourselves among ourselves, why did the apostle Paul tell the Corinthians to follow his example? Because the reference point for his example was Jesus Christ! "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1; NIV).

Using false standards leads to deceptive results. in evaluating our relationship with our heavenly Father, let's use the absolute standard: Jesus Christ.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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