Our post-modern society distains any type of standards, prefering instead to follow an "if it works for you who am I to judge?" philosophy, often with disastrous results. A recent news article demonstrates that standards are necessary and essential. In this article we learn that two men were killed due to the fact that there was no objective standard.
Pilots fly "by the numbers" especially if they have 3,400 hours logged. However, what are "the numbers" if your airspeed indicator isn't calibrated properly? For those of you who are not pilots, airspeed is the most critical element for safe flying. You never want to run out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas all at the same time. I have no doubt that the pilot sincerely believed what his airspeed indicator was telling him. He was doing everything correctly, yet still died, along with his passenger. Since the standard was wrong, this tragedy resulted. No pilot would ever fly an airplane without a working airspeed indicator, but this was an even worse situation, since it was not even known that the standard could not be trusted.
While not always picked up by the news media, many others "crash and burn" in their spiritual lives due to the fact that they have no objective standard. They may (or may not) be very sincere. They may (or may not) be very meticulous. Yet, if they are relying upon a faulty standard (or no standard at all) they are doomed for failure.
There is only one standard that we can trust for our spiritual well-being, that that is the Bible, God's Word.
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra-- which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3, ESV)
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31, ESV)
Having the right standard, and following it, is very, very important.
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