I am a driven person. I take pride in the fact that my motivation comes from somewhere deep within. This allows me to continually move forward without dependence on external accountability. I have little patience for those who do not offer their best in life. My clear focus does not allow me to be distracted by what’s going on around me, which means I am perceived as rude at times. I get so irritated when anything disrupts my schedule, gets in my way, or causes me to slow down. Given that others are rarely willing to do what it takes to produce excellence, I am slow to put confidence in them. That way, I am let down much less often. This approach toward life has allowed me to reach many of my goals. By many people’s standards, I have reached a fair level of success.
Now, let me contrast this with God’s standard. I say standard instead of standards because Jesus took all of the rules, laws, goals and aspirations of the christian life and narrowed them to one standard – LOVE. To Him, there is really nothing else that matters, or more accurately, everything that matters is accomplished in and through love (Matthew 22). So then, how do those things which characterize my life measure up?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (ESV)
Wow! By one standard I am living life well, and by another, eternal standard I have missed the mark. I have known these verses since childhood. On this day, as God’s spirit made them alive in contrast to my life, I choose a different standard. I choose the standard for which I was chosen. I choose transformation. I choose love.