For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24 (NLT)

During a very difficult time in my life I was unemployed and unable to get work in the area of my training. It was a very difficult time for me. Few jobs were available in the first place. Secondly, there were some jobs that I’d have liked to have, but I didn’t have the training. Other jobs required experience that I didn’t have. In an act of desperation I even tried to get a job at McDonalds and was told I was too overqualified.

Needless to say it was a very tough time for me financially, but it was even more damaging emotionally. I ‘realized’ at that time that I wasn’t able to meet anyone’s standards. I felt defeated, worthless, and hopeless.

When we don’t feel like we measure up it affects our entire outlook on life. We can give up on relationships; bury our frustrations in food, drugs or other addictive behaviors and activities. That kind of behavior leads to a negative spiral. We do something stupid and feel guilty about it. We look for relief for our actions which usually leads to more activity of the same, which of course makes us feel guilty so we find some way to comfort our feelings of failure by…yep, engaging in some inappropriate activity of feelings.

Rehab centers and counseling offices are full of people who have, at some time in their lives, felt they didn’t measure up. ‘New religions’ and changes in church policies are put in place to try to make you feel better about your lifestyle. Nothing is working though. We continue to struggle with ourselves.

Part of the problem is we try to meet up to people’s standards. But that’s a losing battle because some people are impossible to please. Others standards are much lower than your own or fickle. What we need is to find a standard which will show love and acceptance. A standard that will make us feel fulfilled no matter what life throws at us. A standard that will lead us to eternal life.

Sound impossible? You are right, it is. That level of standard only comes from God. His standards are perfect. His standards are loving, kind and full of mercy and understanding. So to feel good about yourself and what you do the trick is to live up to the standards of a Holy, Perfect God.

Sound impossible? It is. We are all human. Whether you are gay or straight, pro-choice or pro-life, regardless of your political persuasion or religious affiliation, you have fallen short of the standards God requires for a good life here and eternal life with him.

So what’s the solution to not meeting up to the standards God demands? Jesus. There is nothing you can do in and of yourselves to meet up to Godly standards. Only through the free gift of Jesus Christ can you find the success to live the life God and you desire. It’s not your power. It’s not your striving. It’s accepting the fact you can’t and living according to the grace given through Jesus.

Stop depending on your own actions to succeed. Stop striving to kick the old habits. Let God take that away. Through Jesus you can meet his standards.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank and praise you for your gift of salvation through Jesus. I’m tired of doing the same stupid things over and over again. Forgive me for the things I’ve done to hurt myself and others. Empower me with your Spirit to live free because of Jesus. In your name, Amen.

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