I have been confronted lately with the whole “standards” issue. It is a never-ending discussion! Let me use this opportunity to share what the Lord has shown me about personal standards in my short life:
My parents did not start living for God until I was a teenager. Think about how difficult that must have been for them! It is bad enough when you have a teenager, but expecting a teenager to completely change they way she lives seems nigh impossible. Yet, with God all things are possible, and I can attest to that. When we started going back to church I remember my dad saying to me, “If you are going to grow in your walk with God, you must expect things to change for the better, and not for the worse.” Those words have really rung true in my life.
I had the unsaved boyfriend, went to dances, and lived like any other teen in the world. Then we started attending youth group at our new church, and I started learning that even though the Bible doesn’t specifically say that something is wrong, it does teach Biblical principles that are supposed to guide our choices. That did not sit well with me. I did not like the Youth Pastor very much because he was really stepping on my toes.
But the Lord started to do a work on my heart. He started to show me that if I loved my music, my boyfriend, my clothes, my whatever, so much that it would keep me from drawing closer to Him, it was an idol. So it came down to this: “If (fill in the blank) is such a hang up for me, so hard for me to imagine giving up for something clearly better, then it is an idol and I need to give it up.” And by the grace of a patient God, I did.
My boyfriend thought I was getting “too religious” because I was witnessing to him, so he dumped me. I even left my school, where I had just been accepted into the advanced choir, to go to an obscure Christian school. Did I lose anything in the process? Nope, I gained a closer relationship to God as I honestly searched my heart about these issues. The world would say that I am a fool, but I know better than to listen to their rubbish anymore.
So if you are struggling with some of these very same issues, let me challenge you: GIVE IT UP!
Honestly evaluate your hang ups that keep you from being closer to God and give them up. Not only will you be happier for it, but there will be a peace and contentment that cannot come from anything else.