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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > keeping the standard?

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Old 06-05-2009, 01:30 PM
christkid777's Avatar
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Default keeping the standard?

This not easy to put into words. So I will hack away as best I can. I am thinking about a man [or woman] who has a task to perform which is perhaps new to them and they really don't know how to perform this task. Lets say they are building a simple piece of furniture. It is a challenge to all who take on the task. But they do take on the task. They work sincerely at it and they do the best they can. But in truth the outcome is not good. The top is not centered, the drawer is out of square and sticks in the opening, the legs are uneven and the piece rocks on the floor. There are other problems with the piece but you get the point. And here enters the issue of this thread. How does the first time builder react to their perceived failure? There are standards for this kind of work. An experienced cabinet maker can teach them to you. This first piece falls far short of the standard. In fact it gets an F.

So what now? That depends on the kind of faith residing in the heart of the person. A person who lacks faith and is self centered will react one way while a person of faith will react another. The person who lacks faith will probably say "Oh well! I did the best I could, it is just too hard to do right". And then they will lower the standard to meet their work. From that point onward their failure will become the new standard. If they get a chance to teach someone else they will teach them that "Getting it right is just too hard. Just do what is easiest and if God wants it to work He will make it so. ". Failure may well become the new standard. If they are allowed to teach they will reproduce what they are.

But the person of faith will look at things differently. They will look at the fact that there are many people who "get it right" and they will realize that it can be done but that they currently don't know just how to do it. So they try again. Perhaps they seek greater knowledge this time before starting. They read a book or they seek out someone who seems to have accomplished the thing they are wanting to do. They assess the tools they used the first time to see if they need to upgrade a little. They consider the materials they used. And so they make a second try. And this time they are able to correct some of the things they viewed as failures from the first time. Of course the process is progressive. At each new level of accomplishment they rejoice in their success but they also become aware of new issues they had not seen before. To keep growing they will have to keep trying. Interestingly enough is that as a student submits to the demands of success they are actually humbled and broken in their pride. Instruction reveals their weakness and shortsightedness. By the time they become good at what they want to do they are changed people. If their faith does not fail they can persevere unto Master Cabinetmaker status. [There are not many]

This creates a paradox. How do you deal with your failures, or at least what you think are failures? Firstly do you even know what the standard is? The standard you are trying to meet, is it God's standard or just something you made up in your mind? And if you think you know do you throw it off and say "The standard is to hard"? And then quit trying? Do you pull down the standard to meet what is easy and comfortable for you? Do you try again using the same parameters as before only to see the exact same outcome? Or do you reassess your approach and technique before trying again.

If you are always failing there are several different things to consider. You might not understand what the standard really is. You may just be trying to prove your abilities and not God's. You might not be cutout for the thing you are trying to do. You may want to be a leader in the church but you can not be led. You are disqualified from leadership. A leader is a link. Not a stand alone. They are told before they tell. Seek your true calling. You might want to be a teacher in the church but you resist when someone tries to teach you. Again you are disqualified. A teacher must be taught before they can teach. Seek your true calling. There are many other examples. Anytime you seek to be something you are not you will end in frustration and failure. Pride is the biggest culprit. Our ego's lead us to seek out high positions and authority but we might not be quite as capable as we think. When we see a great leader we do not see all the dying they went through to get there. Or the issues unresolved which will destroy them down the road. If we are men and women of pride we will always have a hard time finding high paying work in the kingdom. But the real problem arises when we say "I tried it and it did not work, There is something wrong with the standard".

This more than any other reason is why we are so fractured and divided today. The standard has been lowered by men who did not want to suffer or sacrifice for the cross of Christ. Their cry is "But I want to be important, Let me lead just like I am!". But a leader is formed and shaped in the forge and on the anvil. I actually believe God can take any one of us and make us suitable for His purposes. But the journey might not be as easy as we would like. If you desire greatness be prepared to go through the fire.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2009, 01:41 PM
MMari
 
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

James,
Very well said! sometimes it takes 20-30 years before God will use one in a particular thing; we can listen and follow His lead or stomp our feet and try to carve our own path. Only God's way will be effective! Thanks for the thread!

Last edited by MMari : 06-05-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

Interesting thoughts, James. I am what is often referred to in the studies of human organizational theories as a "systems person". I must figure out how something works and why it works. That includes why it exists, why it was put together in it's current form, is there another way to do it, what happens when you "tinker" with the components, can it be made better, and all sorts of other thoughts that goes with seeing every interaction and item as a puzzle. Hence, the root of that darn curiosity of mine. I would mention that one trait of this type of thinking is to never follow directions or someone else's path in building or creating the same thing.

My spiritual walk reflects this. I am continually evaluating, dismantling, rebuilding, checking out different pieces from other places to see if they "fit" into my spiritual puzzle. I hit brick walls or sense the Spirit stopping me from putting things together a certain way, but I can't say I see any of it as "failure". I have shared with you personally my biggest stumble in my journey: yet I still count even that as a learning experience in my walk rather than a true "failure". Each church or teacher who has been in my life has given me something that remains in my structure, though their teachings on a whole may have been set aside. The scrap remnants may be bigger or smaller, or may require some polishing before being placed into my structure. Though God recently reached down and knocked it over, there's still some pieces scattered around that He wants me to hold on to. Some pieces are gone, some broken and need repair, some new ones in the pile that I don't know where they go yet and some gaps that I need to find pieces for.

What I find in this process is each time the rebuilding brings to forefront another beautiful aspect of oneness with Him that I never saw before. So I keep looking at the pieces, rearranging as God leads, creating a new spirit over and over from the old.

Thanks for making me think about this. Peggy
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:22 PM
MMari
 
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotFinishedYet View Post
Interesting thoughts, James. I am what is often referred to in the studies of human organizational theories as a "systems person". I must figure out how something works and why it works. That includes why it exists, why it was put together in it's current form, is there another way to do it, what happens when you "tinker" with the components, can it be made better, and all sorts of other thoughts that goes with seeing every interaction and item as a puzzle. Hence, the root of that darn curiosity of mine. I would mention that one trait of this type of thinking is to never follow directions or someone else's path in building or creating the same thing.

My spiritual walk reflects this. I am continually evaluating, dismantling, rebuilding, checking out different pieces from other places to see if they "fit" into my spiritual puzzle. I hit brick walls or sense the Spirit stopping me from putting things together a certain way, but I can't say I see any of it as "failure". I have shared with you personally my biggest stumble in my journey: yet I still count even that as a learning experience in my walk rather than a true "failure". Each church or teacher who has been in my life has given me something that remains in my structure, though their teachings on a whole may have been set aside. The scrap remnants may be bigger or smaller, or may require some polishing before being placed into my structure. Though God recently reached down and knocked it over, there's still some pieces scattered around that He wants me to hold on to. Some pieces are gone, some broken and need repair, some new ones in the pile that I don't know where they go yet and some gaps that I need to find pieces for.

What I find in this process is each time the rebuilding brings to forefront another beautiful aspect of oneness with Him that I never saw before. So I keep looking at the pieces, rearranging as God leads, creating a new spirit over and over from the old.

Thanks for making me think about this. Peggy
Peggy,
I just say things in short; but when others make a thread which often reflect things I think as I am more of a reader than a poster it just makes it easier. I use to be a very analytical person looking at things from every angle but have been learning over time to keep it simple. Like you in different ways I've had to bump up against things in life in order to learn some things; God always has his way of getting my attention. I shared with you about the city where I spent a majority of my time as a result perfectionism had to be worked out of me. I think you understand.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

I thank you for your charity MMari. As you related about yourself I also was a perfectionest. In both speech and behavior. I would do things several times to gain a measure of satisfaction. I also strove to speak in a concise and eloquent manner using my rather large vocabulary. But it was right for me to be that way at that time. The biggest problem I encountered as a perfectionest in behavior and speech was the way it affected the people around me. One day the Lord sat me down and reasoned with me. "James", He said, "the idea is to communicate your knowledge to people. Not to leave them standing with their mouth open in bewilderment. So what if you can speak for several minutes and not use a single word anyone has ever heard before. If they have not gained anything from your speaking you might as well just shut up". And so I changed. I am still something of a perfectionist but I think I communicate better than before. But I know where you are speaking from. As for you NFY, you just hang in there. If the way you operate brings you success and you are able to enjoy the Lord then you just might be in your calling.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

Simplicity is a key! We can spend hours or weeks or even years studying and learning something, like how to serve God and still come up short. All of the verses, all of the parables, all of the living examples in the OT, etc. yet, Jesus said,

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matt 11:29-30

It is easy!

It is easy if we go to the Master builder and follow all of His advice all of the time. We can learn alot of things stumbling along our own way, but it is the hard way, and as the other posters have already indicated, we may stumble so hard and so deep that we can never climb back up to the bottom in Him. Always start in Him from the bottom!
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMari View Post
Peggy,
I just say things in short; but when others make a thread which often reflect things I think as I am more of a reader than a poster it just makes it easier. I use to be a very analytical person looking at things from every angle but have been learning over time to keep it simple. Like you in different ways I've had to bump up against things in life in order to learn some things; God always has his way of getting my attention. I shared with you about the city where I spent a majority of my time as a result perfectionism had to be worked out of me. I think you understand.

I do understand, Marilyn, but my drive isn't perfectionism: I'm quite content with wobble, tipping buildings if that's what my final product is. No for me, sister, it's the challenge. It's figuring out if I can do it. Once I'm satisfied it can be done, I tend to quit. Hence, many "unfinished" products in my life. I'm now learning to push beyond that, to stay to the end. Perfect or not, rebuild it until it's complete and I'm satisfied that the pieces are together correctly, not just that I know where they should go or that they exist.

And John, you are so right. The more elaborate and fancy we build, the farther we are from the truth. I'm dismantling as fast as I can. I think only the cornerstone remains, but there's some pieces mortared so well to it, I'm not sure whether they are now part of the foundation or if I need some dynamite...... Ya'll might wanna put on some construction helmets!
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Why are we here, what's life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? Well tonight we're going to sort it all out: For tonight it's the meaning of life" Not Finished Yet
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2009, 08:26 AM
Josif59
 
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

Keeping the standard during a construction project, eh. I always use the testimony of Jesus as the blueprint and understand the folly in deviating from that. As for failure. One thing thee Spirit of Truth impressed upon me at an early age is that if I failed the first time it never meant I would fail the next time or be a failure at everything. That has given me a great deal of comfort and encouragement over the years inspite of what others may think of me. I remember a song from years back about a 'stairway to heaven'. Although I never really did relate to that song, it did serve as a reminder that my main goal in life is to build a stairway to heaven. I realize that because of my mortal limitations I can only complete two or three steps in this life. But the way I see it, if I make an earnest and sincere effort daily to complete those steps than I should be assured all eternity to complete the rest of it. With that in mind I try and keep myself from rushing things. Plenty of time to sit back and admire the grain in the wood, change the bandaids, see if the discoloration in that thumbnail has changed any. I always keep my ears and eyes open and learn from others any 'tricks of the trade' that will make my project proceed a little more smoothly. I try and pay attention to detail and look at it from every angle so the step ends up being securely fastened. At the same time I learned early on to keep it simple. I'll pass on adorning it with ornate handrails and the like and just keep focused on those steps. There is the 'carpenters rule' about measuring twice and cutting once. I have found that I can measure it three times and still cut it incorrectly. But that's alright. If it is a little too long, I just trim a little off the end and call it good. If it is too short, I give it to someone else who has better balance than I do and can get away with a narrower staircase.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

There is another possible response to such a failure. We didn't read the assembly instructions, or didn't take time to study them properly and so we blame the instrcutions. It's not our fault. The instructions weren't clear.

So instead of resolving to study the instructions more carefully next time we plunge into the next task, skimming down the instructions quickly before setting to work.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: keeping the standard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christkid777 View Post
This not easy to put into words. So I will hack away as best I can. I am thinking about a man [or woman] who has a task to perform which is perhaps new to them and they really don't know how to perform this task. Lets say they are building a simple piece of furniture. It is a challenge to all who take on the task. But they do take on the task. They work sincerely at it and they do the best they can. But in truth the outcome is not good. The top is not centered, the drawer is out of square and sticks in the opening, the legs are uneven and the piece rocks on the floor. There are other problems with the piece but you get the point. And here enters the issue of this thread. How does the first time builder react to their perceived failure? There are standards for this kind of work. An experienced cabinet maker can teach them to you. This first piece falls far short of the standard. In fact it gets an F.

So what now? That depends on the kind of faith residing in the heart of the person. A person who lacks faith and is self centered will react one way while a person of faith will react another. The person who lacks faith will probably say "Oh well! I did the best I could, it is just too hard to do right". And then they will lower the standard to meet their work. From that point onward their failure will become the new standard. If they get a chance to teach someone else they will teach them that "Getting it right is just too hard. Just do what is easiest and if God wants it to work He will make it so. ". Failure may well become the new standard. If they are allowed to teach they will reproduce what they are.

But the person of faith will look at things differently. They will look at the fact that there are many people who "get it right" and they will realize that it can be done but that they currently don't know just how to do it. So they try again. Perhaps they seek greater knowledge this time before starting. They read a book or they seek out someone who seems to have accomplished the thing they are wanting to do. They assess the tools they used the first time to see if they need to upgrade a little. They consider the materials they used. And so they make a second try. And this time they are able to correct some of the things they viewed as failures from the first time. Of course the process is progressive. At each new level of accomplishment they rejoice in their success but they also become aware of new issues they had not seen before. To keep growing they will have to keep trying. Interestingly enough is that as a student submits to the demands of success they are actually humbled and broken in their pride. Instruction reveals their weakness and shortsightedness. By the time they become good at what they want to do they are changed people. If their faith does not fail they can persevere unto Master Cabinetmaker status. [There are not many]

This creates a paradox. How do you deal with your failures, or at least what you think are failures? Firstly do you even know what the standard is? The standard you are trying to meet, is it God's standard or just something you made up in your mind? And if you think you know do you throw it off and say "The standard is to hard"? And then quit trying? Do you pull down the standard to meet what is easy and comfortable for you? Do you try again using the same parameters as before only to see the exact same outcome? Or do you reassess your approach and technique before trying again.

If you are always failing there are several different things to consider. You might not understand what the standard really is. You may just be trying to prove your abilities and not God's. You might not be cutout for the thing you are trying to do. You may want to be a leader in the church but you can not be led. You are disqualified from leadership. A leader is a link. Not a stand alone. They are told before they tell. Seek your true calling. You might want to be a teacher in the church but you resist when someone tries to teach you. Again you are disqualified. A teacher must be taught before they can teach. Seek your true calling. There are many other examples. Anytime you seek to be something you are not you will end in frustration and failure. Pride is the biggest culprit. Our ego's lead us to seek out high positions and authority but we might not be quite as capable as we think. When we see a great leader we do not see all the dying they went through to get there. Or the issues unresolved which will destroy them down the road. If we are men and women of pride we will always have a hard time finding high paying work in the kingdom. But the real problem arises when we say "I tried it and it did not work, There is something wrong with the standard".

This more than any other reason is why we are so fractured and divided today. The standard has been lowered by men who did not want to suffer or sacrifice for the cross of Christ. Their cry is "But I want to be important, Let me lead just like I am!". But a leader is formed and shaped in the forge and on the anvil. I actually believe God can take any one of us and make us suitable for His purposes. But the journey might not be as easy as we would like. If you desire greatness be prepared to go through the fire.
As I came back and read your OP again, James, I was struck by another thought. In our society - at least here in the US- we have spent the last 30 years "dumbing" down most everything. Trying to make people just feel good about themselves (everyone gets a trophy), trying to K.I.S.S. every teaching so "no one gets left behind", equal access to prevent discrimination, an appliance for everything to make it "easy", child-proofing to prevent injury..... every facet of our lives are now set to protect us from harm and to make things easier for us.

As you say, the standard of our faith has been lowered. We have diminished God by not trusting Him to mold us as He sees fit, we had to make it easy for Him. We corrupted ourselves with the cultural milieu and made our God out to be less than omnipotent. We see ourselves as an easy "assembly" where all parts are interchangeable and have forgot what it is to be a hand, a foot, a belly button in the body of Christ. We have become like the disciples at Gethsemane: we have fallen asleep as it's too hard for us to wait while Jesus is about God's work.
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