Changing Standards

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Last fall when I joined the action Fitness group (or aFit as we now call it), I had a completely different standard of fitness.  I THOUGHT I was fit.  I’m 44, over the last few years I’ve dropped 30 pounds.  I’ve got a bow flex and I don’t use it as a clothes dryer. I was back in the jeans size I wore in high school.  I have a very physically demanding job.  Within the first HOUR of aFit (which by the way starts at 6:30am on Saturdays) I completely changed my opinion about my personal fitness.  Somewhere between the pull-ups, burpee push-ups, (look em up) and the short run that almost brought the previous nights dinner back up…I decided that my standard of personal fitness was definitely incorrect.  Thinking I was fit did not make me ACTUALLY fit.

As followers of Jesus we have ONE standard: The Bible.  God’s written word, and the stories of how he has interacted with his followers and opponents over the last 4000+ years, give us a pretty clear picture of what God’s standards for living entail. God’s standard is humbling and instructive.  It opens our eyes to just how far we fall below his standard.  Our human reaction is to want to lower the bar, change the standards.   But, just because we don’t often live up to those standards, doesn’t change them one bit.

Human standards, on the other hand, change.  In 1998, the BMI charts were changed.  Overnight, millions of Americans went from “normal weight” to “obese”.   In 2003, the blood pressure standards were changed.  Overnight, millions of Americans went from having “normal blood pressure” to having “high blood pressure” according to the standards.   Or did they?

The truth is, real standards don’t actually change with culture or time.  God created a range of healthy weights and heights no matter what the current BMI chart may say.  God created a healthy range of blood pressures for your vascular system, regardless of whether that number is raised or lowered on the current blood pressure chart.  As humans we simply can’t change it.

I am thankful for the Bible…even though it’s standards make me understand just how sinful and “unfit” spiritually I am.  I am SO MUCH MORE thankful for Jesus, who offers me grace, mercy, and hope in spite of my inability to meet his standards;  just as I am thankful for my brothers in aFit who run alongside me each week as we encourage each other to work hard to reach a higher standard of fitness.  Come to think about it, I think thats a pretty good picture of what CHURCH is all about…

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

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