I won’t tell you that having standards is easy because I’d be lying to you –and I’m no liar. As much as we love to live life with few mistakes, “knowing better” is bittersweet. You avoid so many unnecessary battles but you also can’t act on your emotions, explore certain desires and make certain moves you feel you want to make. Having standards is almost like volunteering to put yourself through a mini heartbreak every time you have to let go of or walk away from something or someone you hoped and thought had potential.
Swear I’ve contemplated settling on days where I just wanted what I wanted. Settling to be held, settling to get ahead…just settling to get things done the way I wanted them to get done. You know what that’s like… anything to quench the thirst, ease the pain or lessen the work load. Simple and true; It’s real… and though I am fortunate enough to not bare the some of the burn marks that others have from touching certain fires, it stings to be held and hold others to a higher standard as a believer. Especially in a world where standards are considered walls and most people either stop at them or do their best to knock them down just to say they’ve conquered. Standards almost feel unfair when you’re watching people around you “seemingly” get blessed after you’ve done all you can to receive and deserve God’s best. You feel overlooked. I know the feeling…but I’m learning that often times, as a Christ follower, winning feels like losing. Blessings feel like losses and we very rarely see them for the gains they are. Know what I mean?
You’re keeping the commandments the best you can. You’re not sleeping around. You’re watching your tongue. You’re waking up at 5:00AM for prayer calls. You’re spreading God’s Word. You’re making it to church and bible study every Sunday and Wednesday. You didn’t curse that person out. You serve in a ministry. You’re reading your bible and doing everything to uphold the believer’s standard in this world and you get…nothing…or something you’ve wanted but not quit the way you wanted it. Or there are times where you get what you’ve wanted after having gone through THE MOST to get it. Why do things have to be so complicated with you God? Why can’t I just have what I want?
Psalm 37:4-Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I’ve been there and from my experience thus far, I’ve come to the conclusion that what we think we want based on what we give God is usually not what we want. He knows the deepest desires of our hearts and exactly how to get it there. OUR GOD IS A GOD WHO AIMS TO PLEASE and he’ll do just that once we stop looking at the standards He’s called us to have as barriers between us and our desires. I’m learning that these standards whether they are in relation to the men we date, the jobs we choose, the friendships we start, are all there to advance these experiences in life for the better! God doesn’t always do things the way we think we think they should be done…but He always looks out in the end. Lessons learned and everything. –At least for me.
The benefit to having standards is BECOMING THE STANDARD; living this life with a peace that surpasses all understanding and a quality of life that others can’t fathom. The benefit is limiting the consequences to unnecessary mistakes and smoothing out the journey to where God wants us to ultimately be. Sure, people can get to their final destinations and reach the full potential of their dreams and desires without standards but they go through so much to get there. The benefit is not avoiding all trials and challenges, but taking them head on with knowledge and power to think and act with a clear and precise mind; a clear and precise heart. No clouds.
John 10:10 -… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Abundantly might not be the new car, the new house, job or man… abundantly is usually the peace of mind, the courage and the strength.
True story –> We don’t always get accolades and pats on the back because we aren’t doing God any favors by living for Him. We’re doing ourselves the favor. Ever notice how everything God preaches against is to benefit and not hinder us? You won’t always get recognized for doing what you’re supposed to do but I can promise you that you are never losing when you choose God’s way. Even when it feels like you’re missing out or not getting what you want…you’re always getting what you need and that’s more than what most people ever get in this life.
Keep your head up…your heels high and your standards HIGHER.