Food for Thought: High Standards
by Ardith Hoff
In the Zits comic strip, teenage son Jeremy told his mom that he had started to clean his room but gave up because he knew his work wouldn't measure up to her expectations. She asked, "So it's MY fault that your room is looks like a landfill?" He replied, "Hey, don't blame me for your high standards!" Houston Chronicle, 10/18/16, p.D6
Most parents do try to set high standards for their children and rightly so. We want our children to learn to do a good job in whatever they do. We know that if we let them get by with shoddy work at home, they are likely to do so in whatever job they undertake in the workplace.
Unfortunately, some young workers have not learned good work habits at home and come into the working world with unbelievably immature attitudes about work. I know a business owner who hires mainly young people. He tells of the problems of hiring and maintaining a reliable work force. He said that in one day he had four people call in to say that they would not be able to come to work. They each offered excuses for why they could not come to work. One young woman even said that she could not come because she had to take her kitty to get his nails clipped.
We can all see how silly such an excuse is, but how about the excuses we use for not living up to God’s high standards? Is it that His standards are just too high and we know we can’t live up to them anyway, and we use that as an excuse not to try? Is it that we have so many petty little things to do that we just don’t want to take time to do the things God expects of us? And what does God expect of us?
The prophet Micah responded to the Israelites’ complaint that they didn’t know what God wanted from them. The prophet said “He has told you, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8. God’s desire for us is very simple. God wants us to love Him with all our hearts and let our obedience stem from a heartfelt desire to be pleasing in His sight. 2 Corinthians 3:6 This does not mean we just need to follow a lot of man-made rules, it simply means that we should learn to follow Jesus’ example by living upright and decent lives, doing good, and showing diligence, respect and dignity in all that we do.