Monday, April 28, 2014

What is Your Perfect Standard?

What is your perfect standard?

What is the standard for your family?

What is the standard you set for the people you are accountable to?

On Sunday during the sermon, our Minister asked the question "What is Your Perfect Standard?" The things running through my mind were countless, and I barely made it through the service before I was jotting down notes and looking up scriptures. Though the question seems innocent enough, the answers are profound and, as I have learned, can be life changing. 

There are many reasons why a persons standard may change- tragedy, family changes, discovery of self...the list can go on and on. The problem with setting a standard is what do you base it on.

When a baseball player is playing baseball he is not only chasing a win for his team, he is also chasing a personal best record and someone who has set a better record before him. He sets his first goal oriented around his team, then his next goals are for himself. When a player leads a team that has a steady winning record, it gives him time to focus on the personal record.  Once his team starts winning and has a good streak going, he has the option to use that momentum to focus on the records he pursues, therefore his perfect standard changes.

The baseball example is a good way to show how easily a standard can be changed based on goals and performance in an industry that banks on it. But what about the personal standard of the player? Who is he accountable to in his personal life? Does he have a wife, children, parents? Baseball is his job, so what about his life?

In our family, it took me a long time to make a list of priorities that are tied directly with our standards. Not only the way we work, but the way we shop, spend our money, spend our time and entertain ourselves. With 4 children we have had our share of drama, insecurities, nightmares, injuries and just stuff families our size deal with. Somehow in almost 22 years, we have always been able to bring our focus back to our family. The result of complete analysis of the past 22 years brought me to this conclusion:

 our standard was looking completely off base... 

Seriously I thought I was doing so good. Apparently that has only been the last five years. The previous 17 were a little willy-nilly at best, however upon further investigation I also discovered among all the chaos that:

We have never been a "keep up with the Jones's" type of family. 
We have never been the type of family that did things just because others did. 
 We have never tried to make others happy, never tried to follow the crowd. 
We have always made our own path based on what we knew was right.
 It was hard sometimes, 4 kids and never enough of anything. As I looked back through the scrapbooks, albums, boxes and boxes of pictures and all of my partial journals I realized we set our standard without even realizing what we had done. 

Christ was our standard.

 What a relief. After all, that was always the goal. Only Christ can be the perfect standard, because regardless of who you are and what you have done, He is the only perfection. No baseball record, no job, no amount of  education, no amount of money, no relationship and no physical item or experience can top the perfection that Christ brings to my life. There is nothing like having the Holy Spirit guide your every decision. There is nothing like looking forward to a place where there is no illness, no indecision. A place where there is no troubled soul, no weary mommas, no exasperated daddys. There is a place where the perfect standard makes us all perfect, and in the end, isn't that what we strive for? 

Re-evaluating your perfect standard from time to time will keep you on course and in balance. It offers opportunity to change the way we think and live, and brings us peace when we get back on track. I am striving for this re evaluation on a regular basis so that I may continue to lead in my personal life myself, family and friends to focus on Christ and the perfect standard that He offers. An exemplary example of how to live and where to go with your life. And in the Bible a neatly packaged set of life guidelines to live by and be an example of. 

Scripture Reference:
John 14:6 
 "Jesus Answered "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". "

Phil 2:5
 "Your attitude should be that of Christ Jesus. "

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