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Measuring Up

By: Bentley Hill

I remember as a child thinking how much fun it was to play with a tape measure. I would pull it out and let it go, and it would magically retreat back inside of its tiny, metal home. This created hours of cheap entertainment. Later on in life, I learned the tape measure was more than a toy; it had a purpose. I could use it to measure things to find their length. I could look at an object and guess its size, but with the tape measure, I could know for sure.

I kind of think of the Bible as a spiritual tape measure. We don’t have to guess what God’s desire for our life is; we can know for certain. God’s word shows us the way to live. Now, there may be times we don’t like the direction that it gives. It might not fit the way we want to live. But just as we wouldn’t argue with a tape measure, it seems futile to argue with the standard set forth in Scripture. As God’s children, we are not free to live as we think best or to pick and choose what parts of God’s word we will follow. It’s reliable from beginning to end.

As Southern Baptists, we are a Bible-believing people. We follow God’s word and do not expect it to change for us and our circumstances. When change needs to happen, we make the change in our lives whether it is individually, in the local church, or at the state or national levels. At the recent National SBC Convention, there were some questions where to go and what to do as a denomination. The answer is simple; we must continue to follow God’s word. There may be those that think this answer is too simplistic, that there are more variables involved in the 21st century. It is my opinion that we often make things harder than they have to be by trying to make the Bible agree with the world instead of encouraging the world to conform to the standards already established in Scripture. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” As God’s people, we need to refuse the temptation to play with the tape measure or rely on our own best judgment. Instead, let’s stick to what God says and follow Him faithfully.

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