In the first installment of the series “Breaking the Rules,” Pastor Chris Hodges asked the question, “Will we change the standard or let God change us?” (Watch Breaking the Rules, Part 1 – Ancient Family for the full message.)
It’s an interesting question, especially in today’s world because the standards continue to change. And unfortunately they aren’t getting higher. Nope. Society is all too happy to lower standards in an effort to excuse any and all behaviors.
Take television shows for example. I guess you can blame the first sitcom on TV, Mary Kay and Johnny. That was the first time a television show portrayed a husband and wife sleeping in the same bed, not in twin beds in the same room. (Nope, it wasn’t Ricky and Lucy. I had to look it up on Snopes.com.)
So the joke is on us today – can you even find a show where a married couple is sleeping with only each other – in their bed – in their home – without actually seeing their intimate moments? I’m thinking Mary Kay and Johnny would be a breath of fresh air compared to all the junk that is on the 800 channels streaming into most homes.
So how did we get from twin beds to the blatant over-sexed TV shows today? It’s the old “How to boil a frog” theory. See if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water he’ll jump out, just like if my mother had gone from watching Mary Kay and Johnny to Sex in the City, she’d freak out. But if you put a frog in room temperature water and slowly turn the heat up, he’ll boil to death. And that’s exactly what has happened in our world over the last 60 or so years.
TV shows are just one example of how we have lowered our standards in an effort to satisfy our sin, our lust for the world. But lower standards can be found all over the place – in education, in government and yes, in our faith.
Casting Crowns wrote a song entitled, “Slow Fade.” The chorus rings so true:
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade
People never crumble in a day – it’s a slow fade. We lower our standards a little at a time so as not to cause anyone to be alerted to the cumulative effect. So what’s the solution? Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” not the grotesque perversion the world offers, for the world will never satisfy you. See the world may offer a moment of supposed gratification or pleasure, but true peace can only be found in Jesus.
So let’s raise our standards back to where they used to be. Let’s focus on Jesus, not on what the world says the standards are, for the world is ever changing, ever shifting. Don’t slowly fade into sin – set your standards high and then go with confidence knowing you have the power of Jesus to uphold them.