The Measuring Stick

It has been awhile since I have written. Inspiration birthed by the Holy Spirit is so important, so I chose not to write until it came. And it did!

I have been blessed to be out of winter for a period of time, in a place where life is simpler, and slower. Where I can experience warmth on my skin, warming my bones, where I open the door and am greeted by the verdant greenery, and the fragrance of a multitude of flowers. All calling me outside to embrace the challenges of steep uphill walks and experience my body being powered by the Holy Spirit – while also occasionally being refreshed by unexpected showers that don’t feel any obligation to give innocent foreigners, advance notice!

During the firsts of the day, which for me include my daily routine of 105 squats and a few other exercises, my heart was filled with a deep impression of what for some of us, is a decades long journey, shaped by an unattainable pursuit of striving to measure up – to someone, to be normal (as defined by who I am not sure), to the measurement of success defined by our school systems, to satisfy employers, spouses, parents, and the list could go on. I was a bit overcome this morning as I was given a more comprehensive understanding of the destructive consequences of this pursuit throughout most of my life.

For me it started in my early years – before starting school. The messages of not measuring up were being written into my heart, as try as I may, I learned I couldn’t be good enough to earn or feel accepted, experience praise, or sense I was wanted or enjoyed. My school years were a continuation, only confirming the messaging I had already received – only now the messages came through exclusion from the popular crowd (which sadly turned into seeking the outcast crowd where at least I could experience the illusion of acceptance). The destruction that came through constantly comparing myself with others led me to an understanding and belief I was flawed, lacking, and broken. And those beliefs became evidenced by the fruit or harvest of my life – for far too long.

2 Corinthians 10:12 NLT Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!

In God’s mercy, He led me to a church where I heard the born again message at age twenty-five and I was gloriously brought into His family. Hope is powerful. I began to experience glimmers of acceptance from people whom I observed were enjoying life apart from obvious sin. I began to experience the greatest happiness I had ever known.

But it was decades later before I finally became free from “the measuring stick.” I loved Jesus and I was faithful to be in church for every service, prayer time and church events, whenever I could be. I read my Bible every day and prayed for long periods of time. I read books, went to conferences and tried to learn from every new teacher and preacher who became known to me. I dutifully did everything (almost everything) everyone told me to do – longing to get things right and finally attain that elusive measurement of “enough.” Only now the measuring stick had become the elusive performance treadmill of the “church” – saved by grace with a focus on behaviour modification! Many Sundays after the sermon, I was left to ponder how I had still missed the mark and was found to be yet lacking. The message seemed to me to be – try harder, work harder. I was working harder but the results didn’t materialize. And I continued to be unable to find a way out of the repetitive behaviour pattern that kept me bound in failed relationships and subsequently, the ropes of self-condemnation, guilt and shame.

But God my Rescuer! He patiently led me to Biblical teaching that begin to reveal to me my very skewed perception of Who He is. I began to see my view of God was through the lens of all those whom I had failed to meet their expectations – I mistakenly saw God as the same. I will be forever grateful for the journey where He taught me to let go, send away, and “put off” all the wrong views I held in my heart. He showed me how to write or “put on” within my heart, scriptural truths of Who God is. Our loving Heavenly Father Who measures us by the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who knew we could never measure up, gave us the Gift of Righteousness, Mercy and Grace through the sacrifice of His Only Son, the Perfect Lamb Who was Slain, to take away the sins of the whole world. He became our sin, bore our punishment, took our wrath and became our propitiation. And in the acceptance of this incredible gift is eternal rest – both here and when we join Him in eternity.

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Yes the fullness of God dwells within us in the form of the Holy Spirit – Christ in us! We are now measured by His Life within us – His fully resurrected, victorious, overcoming life! It is His goodness, His kindness that causes us to fall headlong in love with Him so that we hold in the highest place all that He says is right, just, true and good. When we realize ALL his intentions toward us are GOOD that is the greatest behaviour corrector you will ever experience! Transformation happens in our hearts!

Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

It has been through intentionally seeking to know God, seeking to experience Him as He is and develop greater intimacy with Him every single day that I can confidently declare – no one else’s opinions or words can determine the value of my life! Only Jesus! And He says I am whole, righteous, enough, wanted, valued, enjoyed and so much more! And He proved it through His willingness to suffer and die for us.

Forever more, He alone is my measuring stick – I am forgiven, loved, cherished and treasured – and in that I am forever secure, unwavering, and firmly anchored in the Finished Work! I cannot add one thing to what He has already done! Oh what joy, peace and settled rest! When others try to impose on me their standard for my success, I intentionally choose to smile, safely secure – held in the arms of Jesus! I choose to carry on – in love, in and through His precious Life within me.

Won’t you with me, hand Him that proverbial measuring stick that has crushed our hearts, in exchange for all He is – with every requirement now and forevermore fulfilled in His Finished Work?

2 Peter 1:3-4

3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
4 By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.

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2 thoughts on “The Measuring Stick

  1. Thank you darling that was absolutely for me, I’m going to take my measuring stick and allow Jesus to hold it no one else.


  2. Patty Christison March 21, 2023 — 9:23 pm

    Beautiful, Dianne!
    What a relief to be able to rest in our completeness in Him after so many years of striving!
    Blessings to you! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!


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