Many years ago, I began work with a builder doing various small jobs on homes and offices. On one of my first jobs, we were installing cabinets in a dentist office. After they were up, the boss asked me to install the handles. So I measured and marked the places where I needed to drill a hole in each cabinet door. Then I drilled into the new doors and screwed the handles on.
Problem – the tool I used had two different ways of measuring depending on which side you flipped it. When the boss returned to to see my work, he exclaimed, “What are you doing! Why did you not line all the handles up?”
He got his tape measure out and measured it. “This one is 6 inches from the top, this one is 7. What’s wrong with you?” I explained to him what I did and when we finally figured out my mistake, he made me throw away the carpenter’s triangle I had used.
But what if I said, “I think 6 inches and 7 inches are the same thing. It doesn’t matter because they are equal”? I would have been talking nonsense. My boss proved I was wrong by pulling out his tape measure. 6 and 7 inches are not the same. This is reality.
When we think about reality – all aspects of reality – we have to have a tape measure of some sort. We must have a guideline if we are going to understand what is true.
Does a deep desire mean that something is true? No. I tried really hard to line those handles up but they were still out of alignment.
What if I invited all my friends in to look at my handles and 75% of them said they looked even. Would this make everything is aligned? No.
We must have an objective measure. In life, the Almighty Creator God is our tape measure. He is the straight line that we measure everything else in life against. Listen to how the Psalmist writes in Psalm 43:
“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!” (Ps 43:3)
And then in Psalm 119: “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures for ever.” (Ps 119:160)
God has given us a tape measure for life. His nature as revealed in His book.
As I measure my life against the standard of God, I find that I’m out of alignment every time. Thankfully, there is grace for those who understand they’ve missed the mark.
By what standard are you measuring your life?