God’s Perfect Standard
The only standard that will lead you into the Kingdom of God

A lot of students are struggling in schools across the nation. To remedy this, schools are implementing equitable grading and eliminating supposed “grading bias” based upon the race of students. Some teachers are allowing certain students to retake tests or improve their grades through special extra credit assignments. This illustrates a pervasive trend: When people can’t meet the standard, they just lower the standard.

Do you hold yourself to a high standard in life? When preparing for the spring holy days, God tells us to examine ourselves. 1 Corinthians 11:28 says, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” While we go through the self-examination process, what is the standard?

Benjamin Mays said, “The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities.” Something in human nature wants us to think we’re doing just fine, when in reality we’re settling for mediocrity.

God is measuring us and holds us to a high standard: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). God has the very highest standard, and He never lowers it. He doesn’t say, I’m perfect, and you’re not. He says, I want you to rise to my level. That is God’s challenge to all of us.

Pursue Perfection

Gerald Flurry said in a Key of David program on November 18, 2011: “Being a perfectionist is a godly trait. … He says, ‘Now I want you to become perfect as I am perfect.’ Or be a perfectionist, and then you begin to see the whole picture as God the Father does.” If we settle for mediocrity, we lose something extremely valuable. We lose a spiritual, godly way of thinking. It’s only when we strive for perfection that we can become like God.

Mr. Flurry continued, “That’s not just a verse: that’s a vision, but almost nobody understands it and sees how profound it is. It is profound! The Father created man. The Father, through Christ, created everything. He created the universe. He’s a perfectionist, and He wants to make us perfect so that we will be the way He is.”

You see this language in a lot of Scriptures. In Genesis 17:1, God told Abram to “walk before me, and be thou perfect.” Deuteronomy 18:13 reads, “Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.” God wants us to become like Him by always striving for perfection. We all fall short, but we cannot fixate on mistakes. We must keep pushing toward perfection.

What happens when students aren’t held to a high standard? What would you do in your academics, music lessons or dance lessons if your teachers, parents or boss never gave you correction? If no matter what you did, they responded: You are wonderful. You are amazing. Everything you do is awesome! Your motivation to improve would tank.

What happens in a modern classroom when a student is goofing off? The teacher who calls out the student is a “racist.” Schools will not let teachers discipline their elementary students. They aren’t even allowed to award good behavior! As a result, the students are constantly challenging the adults. They have no humility, are not teachable, act however they please, and take no responsibility.

The youth in our nation are being set up for serious problems in life because they aren’t being held to a high standard. This is easily where all of us would be if it weren’t for the parents, teachers, coaches and ministers who hold us to a higher standard. That is just where human nature leads.

2 Corinthians 13:11 says, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” Colossians 1:28 says, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

Why does God repeatedly emphasize His standard? Because pursuing perfection is battling your human nature. When you compare your standard to God’s, you will learn a lot about your human nature: It is lazy, prone to complacency, wants to take it easy and doesn’t like change or challenge. Human nature always tends to slack off and degenerate.

The attitude of so many is to do the bare minimum. Many just scrape by in school and on the job. That is not the approach God wants us to take toward anything. He says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might …” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Don’t be half-hearted or just do the minimum. Seek perfection by doing everything to the best of your ability.

The Malady of Mediocrity

You want to be constantly growing and learning. Be constantly thinking in terms of trying to contribute something of value. Herbert W. Armstrong said, “If you’re not growing, you’re going backward.” How are you doing?

Jeffery J. Fox, a business author, wrote, “Mediocrity is an insidious disease that saps the vitality, innovation and energy of any organization. Once mediocrity infects an organization, it is extremely difficult to cure. Mediocrity becomes the performance standard. It becomes acceptable. Mediocrity, if allowed, if accepted, if rewarded, if unpunished, infects even the best people.”

This can happen within any organization—even God’s Church! The Laodicean era hit the Church hard because some 95 percent of God’s people were casual about their calling. They became complacent about God’s truth. They let God’s truth be cast down because they did not love the truth.

Lukewarmness can infect all of us. That insidious disease saps our spiritual vitality and energy. Don’t settle for mediocrity; strive for spiritual perfection.

It is common for students to have “senioritis” as they reach the end of high school—a disease that apparently can only be “cured” by graduation. But Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” This is a race that we must finish strong. Strive to make your last works greater than the first. Finish with energy and vitality. Senioritis breeds mediocrity—a disease that we must ask for God’s help to overcome.

Striving for perfection is hard. Getting better is hard. Holding yourself to a perfect standard every single time is very hard. The tendency is to start hot but lose momentum as you go. Pursuing perfection is unnatural and uncommon. The highest performers in any endeavor are those constantly prodding themselves to perfection.

The Perfect Law of God

If you don’t have a perfect standard to measure yourself against, it is easy to believe you are doing your best when you are way off the mark! Mr. Flurry writes in his booklet, Ezra and Nehemiah: “Human nature always degenerates toward catastrophe or disaster. The solution to this problem is always to get back to the law of God.”

Psalm 19:7 states our perfect standard: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” God’s law is what you must measure yourself by. If you don’t get back to the law, you are not using God’s standard.

Holding yourself to God’s standards changes you. “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (verse 8).

God’s law will open your eyes to see where you are off track. It is a mirror for our spiritual state (James 1:23-25). We are incapable of seeing where we are off track without God’s aid.

We all want people to praise us rather than tell us where we are wrong, even if it is the truth. How often do you go into a class or lesson wanting correction? How often do you ask God to show you your imperfections? David had this mindset: “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults” (verse 12).

Fox continues, “Great companies and great bosses are constantly training, teaching, improving and growing their employees. You must groom people for new challenges, groom people to do more.” That is the way God thinks. He is grooming us to become God. He sees clearly how much training, teaching, improving and growing you still need, always driving toward the goal of equipping you to handle more.

Breaking Barriers

When he was still a minister in the Worldwide Church of God, Mr. Flurry would record his thoughts on tapes while traveling between congregations. In one such session, he meditated on how he could be a better minister for God. He talked about the movie The Right Stuff, which tells the story of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier. Mr. Flurry said, “He is the type that is pushing himself and pushing his talent to the very extreme. That’s the kind of attitude it takes to achieve, to really go all out, to do your very best for God. We need to be pushing like that because this is the only opportunity we’ll ever have to achieve the greatest possible goal we will ever have. To achieve it here on this Earth for God and be rewarded throughout all eternity because of what we’re doing. So, it’s important that we have that spirit, that we develop that attitude within our lives and push just as far as we can and try each day to break the sound barrier—break our own personal sound barriers and really achieve the very best that our potential will permit us to do.”

God loves that kind of attitude. He knew He could entrust Mr. Flurry with greater responsibility because of it.

The world around us is full of underachievers; it is full of employees who do the minimum. They put on a show of productivity when the boss is watching, but as soon as he is gone, they’re goofing off and lazing around.

Ephesians 6:5-8 says, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”

What standard do you hold yourself to on your job? Are you putting in all your effort to be the best worker you can be? We all have to push ourselves not to slack off and steal time from our boss. Push yourself. Strive for the highest standard possible, and you will build habits of success that will last your entire life. Your efforts will align your thinking more and more with the mind of our perfectionist God.

1 Corinthians 11:28 and 31 say, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. … For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” When you hold yourself to that standard, you won’t need someone kicking you to get moving. Instead, push and drive yourself. Build that mindset of seeking perfection in everything you do. Fight complacency. Fight lukewarmness. Fight mediocrity. Always keep that perfect standard in your sights. Never stop striving for perfection—just like our Father.