Surrendering Our Yardsticks

Rodger Woodworth

“So we have stopped evaluating others by what the world thinks about them”  (2 Corinthians 5:16, NLT).  It seems that the most powerful four letter word today is “them” – them other folks who are different than us.  Different in race, ethnicity, politics, religion, sex, or them whose views are different than ours.  Much of our identity, community and power are established by the measurement of our differences from “them”.

The church at Corinth had become seers instead of believers, they were seeing others from a human point of view.  They were measuring “them” based on the distinctions of their world – male and female, Jew and Greek , slave and free.  Paul writes “that those who become Christians become new persons.  They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone.  A new life has begun!”  This new humanity was only made possible by the grace of a God who shows no partiality and the blood of His Son who hung out with women, Samaritans, lepers, tax collectors and an assortment of sinners.

When we  bring our yardsticks to church and ask God to bless them we nullify God’s grace.  No wonder so much of the unbelieving world has stopped responding to us.  Instead we should bring our dueling yardsticks to the cross and ask God to crucify them.  From the world’s point of view life is about control but at the cross we surrender our control, especially our control over the measurement of others.   The way out of the garden of evaluating others by what the world thinks about them and into the new humanity of God’s kingdom is surrendering our yardsticks.

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