Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 4:19-6:15 (additional reading: Psalm 77:1-20 and Proverbs 24:23-25)
World class athletes train for 10 to 12 hrs a day preparing themselves for their competition. Only a few of these athletes ever make it to the Olympic games. Standards are set and if the athletes don’t reach those standards they aren’t allowed to compete. But imagine if for London 2012 some country decided to lower the standards of competition? Anyone who wanted to go to the Olympics and represent that country could go. What would the result be?
What if this same idea of lowering standards was done in the church? Just think about people growing up thinking all they have to do to get into heaven is be good and moral or just pray a prayer and you’re in. God never changed his standard, Hebrews 12:14 is true: “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
The church in many instances has lowered the standard of what it takes to be a Christian and in doing so made sin more acceptable. We’ve given it new names, but we’ve not gotten rid of it.
In 1973 Dr. Karl Menninger wrote a book entitled Whatever Became of Sin? People today are asking that same question. Society has been lowering God’s standard of holiness. It has been said that there are to ways to meet a standard: live up to it, or lower it. Unfortunately we have been lowering it for too long. Whenever people lose sight of the holiness and perfection of God, they rid themselves of an absolute standard of right and wrong.
Jeremiah 6:14-15 says; “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah is writing about the false prophets who provide Band-Aids over mortal wounds, and people eliminated guilt, so they don’t even blush.
Too often we set our standards according to the standards of society instead of setting them against the standard of God’s Word. We can do wrong but not as wrong as our neighbour. We must be careful not to watch others in order to judge where we are spiritual. We need to have our eyes on God!