Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Yardstick

So I shook my fist at Heaven said, "God, why don't You do something?"
He said, "I did - I created you."  
If not us, then who?

Matthew West
Do Something

I think I named this article incorrectly. In reality, it should be called "The Yardstick(s)". But more on that soon. Right now, I want to set the table. Why is a yardstick so important? It really isn't. But what it represents, is important. What it represents is how we measure our forgiveness for those who sin against us. Sin? Who are mean or unkind to us. Who call us names. Who talk behind our backs. Or even forget about us. As we know, just about every day, someone commits one or more of those sins against us. And it hurts. But here is where the yardstick really comes into play.

God tells us in His Word, as well as having us recite it in The Lord's Prayer, the yardstick we use to forgive others, will the same one that God uses to forgive us. Tough words for sure. I think there is a very good reason God used succinct and direct words to drive that divine principle home to us.

The Lord's Prayer says, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." One word - that is all it took. "As", not "because", "before", "just in case" or any other lawyer type word or phrase which can be thought of. God just used "as". How we are forgiven is an example of the first yardstick.

The next yardstick is a bit tougher. Why? It is not our yardstick. It is the one God will use to see how we took care of the least of us. In other words, His children, regardless of age. Our brothers and sisters. I believe this meant that caring for others to have many faces, many methods.

Caring for the most basic of all human needs comes to mind first. Adequate food, drinkable water, a safe place to sleep, and comfort against the elements. Fortunately, the Twin Cites has a plethora of responsible organizations which cater to those needs. And most of them are constantly in need of time and resources. We have found many of them to be worthy to partner with. To invest ourselves with.

But then after the basic human needs are done, then what? Is it over? Can we just call it a day? Not really. We were created to be relational people. Compassionate people. When someone is lonely, neglected, sad, unloved, afraid, you name it - there is a place for us to help ameliorate some of that pain. Sometimes it is just a kind word.  Or, an unkind word left unsaid. Maybe holding a door. A "hello", a nod of the head, any kind of acknowledgement, It may not take much to be a huge help to someone who feels alone and betrayed.

I love the Matthew West song, Do Something. I know we all feel that way at times. We look to God and shake our fist. What kind of a God would let this happen? What is wrong with you, God? Can't you stop this? And in the Matthew West song, God calmly responds, "I did so something - I created you." 

Truthfully - what more so we need? First off, we were created. Not just created, but created in the image of God - and we are His children. Plus (and this is huge) - he gave us a book of instructions, a book of pure truth - His Holy Word. We should be good to go. 

Even with that, it is not all fixed. We still live in a broken world. A world subject to broken promises, day after day. Soon, we all fall back into the trap. The "no yardstick" trap. But God's promises are the ones which cannot be ever broken. His yardstick is true. And His mercies are renewed each morning. 

Bottom line? Treat others the same way we would which to be treated. Forgive as you want to be forgiven. These are the constructs of The Golden Rule. Sounds a bit like God's yardstick(s), do they not?


  1. Mosque bombing in Blooomington was probably done by a Christian. Hope he gets measured against one of your sticks.
    Dave Gjerdingen

    1. I could be inclined to agree with you David, if not most (if not all) of the mosques and churches being blown up in the Middle East were not done by Muslims. Just saying...