Who Sets the Standard?
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. - Leviticus 19:1-2
A few years ago I bought a laptop computer. Excited to fire it up, I brought it home and turned it on. Just before the operating system finished loading, the screen showed blue…with one exception: a red dot. How could my new computer have a bad pixel? I returned the computer only to have the second…and the THIRD have the same issue. Finally I returned the third computer and asked for a full refund. The clerk told me, “This computer company has a toleration of five bad pixels on their screens.” I told the clerk, “I have a toleration of zero bad pixels.”
Some may call me picky. Some may say I was judgmental on the poor computer. Some may say I was being too hard and unreasonable. After all, there were thousands of good pixels.
Are we not like the computer company when we interact with God? Don’t we like to overlook the bad pixels, the sin, in our lives and expect God to do the same? After all, we claim, we have done lots of good things. However, a few sins are not God’s toleration level. He can tolerate no sin. “Be holy (perfect) as I the LORD your God am holy (perfect),” the LORD told Moses to speak to Israel and to us. We may say this is unreasonable or unfair, but we are not the one who sets the standard. God is.
On our own we will always fall short of this standard. The good news is that the LORD, who set the standard, gave us one who was perfect for us. The Bible says, “God made him (Jesus!) who had no sin (no bad pixels!) to be sin for us, so that in him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness (perfection) of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Only through Jesus can one meet God’s standard: a perfect life with no bad pixels!
Dear LORD, we know we can never live up to your standard of perfection, yet that doesn’t change your standard. Let us trust in Jesus who covered all our sin with his blood shed on the cross. Let us find the perfection you demand in the perfection of our Savior Jesus. Amen.