Articles by Stan Dean

What Is The Standard For Your Behavior?

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A few days ago I had to make a run to Lowe’s. It seems that every man has to make a stop there periodically. Even if we do not buy anything, somehow walking among tools and building materials reinforces our masculinity. 

On this occasion it was not what happened in the store, but in the parking lot, that gave me a lesson for the day. I drive a full-size, four-door truck, or as my wife prefers to call it, “a barge.” I like it and it serves me well in a lot of ways, but parking it in certain parking spaces can be a bit of a challenge.

In the aisle of parking that I chose most of the vehicles had pulled through to the spaces actually designed to be used from the next aisle over, so I did the same. That meant that I left a parking space behind me. In addition to the size of my truck I also have a trailer hitch which adds a degree of difficulty when judging if you have pulled forward enough to allow room for the vehicle that pulls in behind you.

But rather than get out and look, I noticed that the truck parked beside me was about the same size as mine. So I lined up my door windows with it and felt that I had remedied the problem. Thus, I hopped out and went into the store and made my purchase. However, when I came back to my vehicle I saw that I had made a mistake! The truck that I used to judge my parking was badly positioned and mine looked just like it. Both of us were taking up four spaces! And no, I did not blame it on him- - I should have been more careful about what I used as a model.

This is true not only when parking, but in spiritual matters, too. I am reminded of Paul’s words when dealing with some false teachers, “But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12). The principle is the same. As someone noted, “The value of a comparison depends on the standard.”

If we are not careful we can find ourselves measuring our spiritual well-being by the perceived spiritual well-being of others. But this too is not wise! What is wise is to always make Jesus the standard and model of our lives! Like the author of Hebrews penned, we must “Look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

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