The other day I was walking with my son at the KY Game Farm. I was watching as this woman walked her young child up to a measuring stick to see how tall the juvenile was. The backdrop was painted like a fish, and only went up to five feet tall. I was so tempted to go make a spectacle of myself, just to embarass my son. However, I refrained from placing my 6'7" frame underneath this measuring contraption, but I was motivated to write on this topic.
The question on the table is, "How Do You Measure Up?" My premise in posing this question has to deal with how you perceive yourself as a Christian (if you are a Believer in the One True God) and with what are your measuring your growth and depth as a Believer.
I am a firm believer that no matter how well versed you might be as a scholar of the Bible or close with your Maker, we must maintain a meek, humble, and contrite heart. Now let me clarify that I am not talking about a false sense of humility. We all know somebody that thinks that they are humble, because they do not have a problem telling you that they are. My friends, if somebody has to tell you that they are humble (rather than portraying this explicit character trait) than they more than likely are not.
There have been many times in my discipleship of men that I have exclaimed to them that I don't feel worthy of the adoption into the family of Christ. This is an open and aware realization that without Christ's all encompassing Grace in my life, there is absolutely nothing I could do to earn or deserve His love for me. Inevitably when I have made this statement, the comment back to me goes something like this:
"Greg, you are like a spiritual giant. You know and quote scripture, spend time in the Word and in Prayer, attempt to lead your family down the right path, etc... If you don't feel like you are measuring up, then who is? You stand head and shoulders amongst most around you (No Pun Intended)."
Now I would like you to dissect the above statement with me. The first thing that I would like to point out is a passage from the Apostle Paul:
"The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost." I Timothy 1:15 (ESV)
I feel like that a lot of days. I don't know if we can come into the knowledge and understanding of the saving grace of God until we embark upon the path of Total Depravity. I am a wretch, and there is absolutly nothing that I can do to earn salvation. Now with that being said, I also accept and claim my birthright of who I am now in Christ, and how He has washed me clean by the shedding of his Blood as the Perfect Sacrifice, and has given it to me freely to accept. So when somebody takes my acceptance of Total Depravity and sums it up into a lukewarm paraphrase in life, in so many words they are saying: "Awe shucks Greg, compared to the rest of us, you are a beacon of shining light into the darkness." Herin lies the problem.
With or to what are your holding yourself out to be measured against? If you are measuring yourself against the world, then you will fail everytime! If you are measuring yourself against fellow Christians, then you will fail everytime! However, if you are measuring yourself agains the Lamb of God who was slain on the cross for your sin, then you have a starting point. See, it is at that point that we don't fail everytime, but rather that we start to become alive to Christ and dead to this world, and the things in this world. The natural assumption of this world is to compare yourself with the Jones's, as they are marching on the same stage and are in the same pattern of life as you, and therefore are fair game. However, it is never natural or willingly accepted to measure oneself next to the One who laid it all down for you, Christ Jesus. Satan loves to whisper in our ear that we can never attain "Christlikeness" so therefore it is better not to even try and thus to measure our goods and services based on those around us. I am here to tell you that Satan has been called the Great Deceiver from the beginning for a reason.
In summation, I have to strive for Christlikeness on a daily basis, or I am falling with the masses that are heading towards destruction and utter despair. Unless I measure myself with the ABSOLUTE measuring device, then I can be assured of the variance and inaccuracy of any other form of measurement they will provide. Daniel 5:27 is a very sobering passage. It says "...you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting." I don't know about you, but for me and my household we have chosen to serve the Lord. Not merely in verbiage, as talk is cheap, but through our Actions. Have you been weighed and found wanting, and if so, with whom are you measuring yourself?