Society has specifications of increasing excellence in academic, sporting and scientific fields but frequently deteriorating requirements in personal relationships and morality. Continually seek to raise the standard of your work and improve the outcomes of your decisions so don’t compromise your values or rules of conduct, even if others are relaxing theirs.
The Bible outlines the standards for character and behaviour that should be evident in all those who claim to be Christians. These include: the Lordship of Christ over all our life and thoughts; the responsibility to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbour as ourselves; the responsibility to pursue righteousness and practice justice and mercy to everyone; and participation in the worship and activities of the church, which forms a necessary context for Christian living (Mic 6:8; Mk 12:30,31; Lk 6:31,46; 1 Tim 6:11; Heb 10:25).
Is my life consistent with the standards of God’s Word?
will judge us according to the divine standards as written in the Bible – they remain constant (Ps 119:89; Mt 5:18; Jn 12:48).
As God expects honest measuring standards, ensure you live with integrity in all your dealings so no one can accuse you of hypocrisy or deceit (Deut 25:13-16; Prov 11:1, 23:10). Paul lived a principled life so was able to say, “What you have heard from me keep as the pattern” (2 Tim 1:13).
The Bible says it is not wise to measure or compare ourselves to others by judging them against our standards in regard to how they dress, their possessions or any other criteria. That is their responsibility (2 Cor 10:12).
Double standards refers to any code or set of principles containing different provisions for one group of people than for another. Generally the maker of the double standard tilts the scales in favor of himself, not others. Jesus referred to the hypocrisy or double standards of the Pharisees who although appearing as righteous on the outside, yet in their hearts were full of wickedness (Mt 23:27,28). Paul wrote, "You who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?" (Rom 2:21). God knows the real condition in our hearts – do we also worship Him with just our lips as an outward expression to impress others, yet our hearts are far from Him (Isa 29:13)? Do I live up to the standards I demand of others? Aim for His degree of righteousness, do not be content with just the accepted values of those around you. The Bible's message is, "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect...Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Mt 5:48; Rom 12:2).
There will be contrasting values and lifestyles between those who claim to be Christians and those who are not, with a different criteria for dealing with Christians who are not living by God's standards compared with non-Christians who claim no allegiance to God or His ways (1 Cor 5:9-12, 6:11; Gal 5:19-23).