Whose Standards Do You Live By?

sourdoughLast month we were visiting with two of our good friends and hit on the subject of homemade bread. Our guests began to share their best tips for my favorite: sourdough. They did it to create bonds of commonality, but in my insecurities, I began to wonder, “Are they saying that their methods are better than mine?”

The problem really wasn’t with whether their bread was better than my bread. I LOVE my bread. The problem was with my heart and with the sickness called “comparing myself to others.”

It’s an illness we all struggle with. By American standards I’m thin. By Brazilian standards I’m fat. According to American norms I’m a fairly good housekeeper. By Brazilian norms, not so much. The point is that if I look to other people to define who I am and what I do, I’ll never measure up.

The Bible says, Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. When I try to do better just to impress others (or, worse, to put them to shame), that’s idolatry and pride. But when I try to do my best because I know that it’s pleasing to God that takes a lot of pressure off. It’s not that he doesn’t have high standards. It’s just that He isn’t concerned with outward perfection as much as inward motivation. He sees my heart.

Does He care if my bread is delicious? Probably not, but He cares very much about the attitude with which I make and eat it. II Cor 5:9 says that we should “make it our goal to please Him.” I’m glad my fellow bread makers reminded me of that.

Advertisements

One thought on “Whose Standards Do You Live By?

  1. Thanks for these good thoughts. If I waited till my housekeeping measured up to what I think are other women’s standards, I would never have company. But I am learning to stop worrying about what my friends think, and just invite them over. Next time you’re in the US, please drop by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s