Set Your Standard

Isaiah gives a description of a group of ancient “wise men,” sophists, who were making a case for their deviate actions. “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitterness for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) 

Against Isaiah’s warning of “woe” we go along our merry way as though the warning does not apply to us. The consequence has always been as natural as it is for one plus one to equal two. That conduct always naturally results in what is summed up in the word “woe.” It always has and always will.

The ancient Greek Thucydides described this spirit in the Peloponnesian war when rashness was called courage; prudence, timidity; treachery, cleverness; and honesty, stupidity. He was describing a group of moral dissidents. Such distortion in all ages is the natural progression of a culture that doesn’t acknowledge God’s standards, and always ends in what is summed up in the little word “woe.” It is still part of the life equation.

The Bible speaks of a time when “Men will become utterly self–centered … full of big words … passionate and unprincipled … self-willed and conceited … loving all the time what gives them pleasure instead of loving God.” (II Timothy 3:2,4, Phillips)

Are we there yet?

Accepting that to be our culture does not mean we approve, or that it identifies us. How then shall we live?

First, dethrone the world’s standard of morality.

Second, accept God’s standard for virtue and morality.

Third, don’t put yourself in the way of temptation.

Have a little talk with yourself regarding those standards. If you agree with them, commit yourself to them saying, “Here I stand and will not waver.” Then no matter what the world throws at you, you have already prepared yourself for it.

Jean-Paul Sartre, the French philosopher said, “You will never find peace and happiness until you are ready to commit yourself to something worth dying for.”

Scripture exhorts us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)