Keys to the Kingdom By Carolyn Tucker
The door frame between my living room and kitchen is very special because that’s where my kids’ growth marks are recorded. Periodically, my husband would measure Mariam and Aaron’s height with a standard measuring stick or tape measure. The first measurement for Aaron was at two years of age and the last was when he was 23 years old. When he was in mid high school, he was concerned about his small stature. But between then and now, those tall Tucker genes kicked in and he’s now 6’2”. Mariam’s first measurement was at one year and the last was at 20 years of age. Both kids were always excited to see how much taller they had grown.
As believers, how are we measuring up spiritually? That’s a serious question only the individual can answer. It‘s our job to measure ourselves against the full and complete standard of God’s Word. It wouldn’t have done Aaron any good to have thrown a fit and demanded that we change the measuring stick just because he was shorter than he wanted to be. So if we search our heart (using God’s measuring stick) and come up short, we will need to make the necessary changes. “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ” (Ephesians 5:1,2 NLT).
As Christ followers, we are to live in the light and by the Holy Spirit’s power. “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. So be careful how you live. Don‘t live like fools, but like those who are wise” (Ephesians 5:8-10,15 NLT). The light makes everything visible. In fact, I couldn’t read all the markings on the doorframe, therefore, I had to use a flashlight. I simply could not see clearly without proper light. The Light of the world is Jesus, so we need to cling to Him so our spiritual eyes and heart will be illuminated.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he was defending his ministry and responding to criticism. “Of course, we wouldn’t dare to put ourselves in the same class or compare ourselves with those who rate themselves so highly. They compare themselves to one another and make up their own standards to measure themselves by, and then they judge themselves by their own standards. What self-delusion!” (2 Corinthians 10:12 TPT). God has made each of us unique and given us individual spiritual gifts to use for God‘s purposes and glory. It’s never wise to compare ourselves to another believer. Paul reminds us that we should look to Christ for our supreme model of behavior.
Using a tape measure is a daily common practice in the construction industry. When we built our home in 1980-81, I can remember my husband whipping out his trusty tape measure all the time. He measured twice and cut once. We live our lives only once so we better get it right or we’ll wish we had. “Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, ‘Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers‘” (Revelation 11:1 NLT).
The Key: Let’s examine ourselves by God’s standard measuring stick and be counted among the true worshippers.