the ever-drifting standards

I'm reading Ephesians 5 this morning, and ruminating on the sobering opening words from the Apostle Paul.

After spending two verses warming us to the idea of our being a fragrant offering to God, he lays out justy what's on his mind - the very real potential of our lives being a stench before Him. He speaks directly against immorality, whether realized or inferred, as having the damaging power to keep us from our inheritance in the kingdom of God.

I've noticed that our personal standards regarding things of immorality (as defined in this chapter - including things like foolish talk and coarse joking) suffer from a gravity-like drawing downwards. Left to themselves, unbolstered standards drop. In fact, I think that over time, if the standard we hold ourselves to doesn't rise, it drops by default.

If you are closer to God than you were five years ago, what are you not watching, not doing, not saying now that you might have then. There are probably those reading this who will find that to be rediculous and are able to pull all sorts of grace verses out of their hat, but it's hard to get around Ephesians 5.

God's serious about this. In anticipation of this sort of protest, it goes so far as to say "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient...".

The people who are encouraging you to lighten up, to let the standards slip, or to take one quick foray to the dark side are not helping you. Maybe it's time to create some distance between the two of you. In order to finish the race well, standards should rise over time, not slide.


ChriS & Yvette Ferguson said...


You speak the truths of G-d (I just love how the Jews do that) I just forwarded your blog to a friend who is wrestling with his own personal call to holiness in a extremely grace (tolerance) driven church that is trying to be emergent in style but forgets ever calling people to holiness. Oh, and I was an associate Pastor and elder there for 8 years. It's not how much sin you can get away with, its how much sin you can get away from.

Blessings of G-d to you,


Alaska1 said...

It may sound corny, but a pastor once told me that it is much easier to be pulled off a pedastool than to pull someone up on it with you.

Great post!

Miss Higgy said...

i find your blog beautiful and inspirational. God has blessed you with wisdom and knowledge, thank you for sharing it.