My standard will be inside me, beside me, behind me, or above me.

Each of us have a standard.  It is the basis for which we make ethical decisions.  It is the benchmark by which we determine where and how far to jump.  But where does the standard come from?

Our standard for morality will come from 1 of 4 places:

  1. Inside me – If my standard comes from inside me, I am trusting on my rationale.  I am leaning in on my feelings.  I am basing my standard of morality based upon what feels right or seems logical to me.
  2. Beside me – If my standard comes from beside me, I am bending to cultural or peer pressure.  As I walk alongside others, I allow their standard to become my own.
  3. Behind me – If my standard comes from behind me, I am allowing my experiences and traditions to guide me.  The past dictates the future.
  4. Above me – If my standard comes from above me, I am submitting to something greater than and outside of myself.  The standard does not come inside me, beside me, or behind me, it is something greater than and above me.

In a Christian’s context, that standard must be the Word of God.  The Bible is living and active (Heb. 4:12).  This ancient document is more relevant than any document written today.

  1. It is profitable for teaching since it comes from the mouth of God (2 Tim. 3:16).
  2. While written years ago, it was written for our current instruction (Rom 15:4).
  3. It is more powerful than a rock or a fire (Jer. 23:29).
  4. God’s words will never pass away (Matt. 24:35).
  5. His words bring success  (Josh. 1:8).
  6. They bring delight to our hearts (Jer. 15:16).
  7. We must pay attention to it so we don’t drift away from it (Heb. 2:1).
  8. God’s Word is perfect (Ps. 19:7).
  9. Obedience to God’s Word brings about blessing (James 1:25).
  10. God’s Word is the truth needed to work on us (John 17:17).

You can try to ascertain truth inside you or collaborate truth beside you or repeat the truth behind you, but ultimately, you will submit to the truth above you.

[I developed this concept further in the sermon “All Talk.”]

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.