When I first heard the song “The Measure of a Man” by 4Him, I must confess that it gave me some food for thought. It did so when I was teenager and even now when I sit down and think about it, I am constantly reminded that it’s not what’s outside that matters but what’s on the inside. The chorus of this tune was especially poignant:
Oh I say the measure of a man Is not how tall you stand How wealthy or intelligent you are 'Cause I found out the measure of a man God knows and understands For He looks inside to the bottom of your heart And what's in the heart defines The measure of a man!
In reflecting upon what life has been like since marriage I realised that there definitely has been a change in the way that I perceive the world. Verily, things that did not seem all that important before suddenly attain significance of a startling kind. Being on one’s own is both a joyful and fearful endeavour. But why?
Paul himself said (in his own opinion) that it would be better for a man/woman to remain unmarried because in doing so their interests would remain undivided and they would be able to devote themselves fully to God (1 Cor. 7). That is of course, purely Paul’s perspective which he prefaces with the fact that he has not received any command from the Lord regarding matrimony. But he is, of course, undeniably correct. As a husband, I am primarily concerned with pleasing my wife and maintaining my home. The same goes for my spouse, While there is no law against this, becoming too caught up in these activities will lead one towards a path upon which one’s worth is not judged by God, but rather by how well one performs in his earthly endeavours. I’ve been in the game for a year now, and I can say without restraint that I have considered my worth as a function of my earning power and intelligence several times. It goes without saying that the doorway to pride was unconsciously opened several times and I had to shut it quickly and forthwith each and every time. I have seen the danger in the way that the world looks at us, it’s all about your KPIs and how many customers you can win, how many cars and houses you possess, how many children you have, who you know, where you’ve been…the list could go on and on.
And you know what?
It’s all pointless. The world is insatiable! No matter what you do you will never be able to please everyone, and because you cannot please everyone you will never be able to please yourself either. The Philosopher in the Book of Ecclesiastes (which is actually one of my faves) was quite right. All of this that we hold in our hands is nothing more than chaff in the grand scheme of things. You can’t enjoy it forever and you can’t take it with you when you leave anyway. What, then, do you measure yourself by when everything else if so transient?
It’s all in the heart of your being, your very character. In this world there is nothing else that is as untouchable as one’s core. Understanding what this means requires knowledge of what God has put inside of each and every one of us. The Word says that there is great treasure stored inside of us though we are but earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7). Ridiculous one may say. But it is the truth. Our unbelief–it is so rich. It is time to make it poor so that our belief may grow rich. The measure of a man is up to God to judge. Once you believe this you will realise that the standard to which you are being called is beyond that of man’s yardsticks–and you will therefore be free of the need to please man. Let pleasing God be your focus, day in and day out. Jesus was not joking when he said that his burden was easy and his yoke, light. It is rather liberating to have a sole point of focus that is strictly objective in God, rather than a fickle moving target which obtains with man. The standards of God should be our aim!
For those who have never heard the tune, I’ve embedded it below. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.
Yours in Christ,