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Comparative Standards

I'm sitting here sipping my second day's supply of Green Mountain Coffee's Los Nacientes Special Reserve Coffee.  It's a remarkable coffee.  In fact, my "I can't stand coffee though I love the smell" lovely wife even took a sip because of the scent.  It's the first time she hasn't immediately spit out what she tasted and grabbed for the closest thing with a strong flavor to clear her palate.

Personally, I'm really enjoying the coffee.  It's a good flavor, great aroma, and it's not too acidic or too bitter.  It stands alone nicely. 

What I'm thinking about as I drink it is all the times I've thought I found a coffee that's better than another.  I first found that I prefer Maxwell House to Folgers, then that I liked the Dunkin' Donuts brand at Wal-Mart.  Then I tried the Millstone flavored coffees.  Then I started on Cameron's Coffee, which was miles ahead of the previous.  Now, thanks to slick marketing tactics, I've tried Green Mountain's Coffees.  And they are great.

How does this matter?  Well, when it comes to coffee, it's a taste thing, but there's been an increasing exposure to what's good and what's even better.  I have frequently had a cup of coffee I thought was the best I would ever taste only to try something different that was even better.

This is fine when it comes to coffee.  I'm probably maxed out at this point, since increasing coffee quality any more will require a major upgrade to the coffee budget, but I'm sure there's even better coffee out there than what I have in my possession.  Besides that, it's entirely subjective whether you like this better than that, and some people don't drink coffee for the flavor anyway. They only need to inject the caffeine into their system.  That coffee has a flavor is a moot point.

Our own lives, though, work a little differently.  Or at least they ought to.  We have a tendency, though, to settle for a comparative best instead of a real best.  We compare our lives to other people, and decide we're better off or not, and then stop.

We do this in our marriages, and determine we're better than someone else's marriage, so we'll just settle for that.  We do this spiritually and decide we're a little better than the next guy and stop there.

Rather than comparing, there's a better way.  God's word shows us how we can be, and gives us the path to get there.  Want your marriage to be what it can be?  Crack open Ephesians and do what it says.  Want your spiritual life to be what it can be?  Read, follow, obey. 

We do this in our churches as well.  The church I serve right now as a few problems.  Some of them are related to the economy.  Some of them are related to a lack of obedience to God's commands.  Some of them may be related to their pastor. (Trust me, I've lived with him for years.)  Yet we have a tendency to excuse those issues with a "well, all churches have their problems."

True, they do, but we aren't other churches.  We can be better than that, because we won't stand before God to answer why weren't better than Pauline Baptist. We'll answer for why we haven't been all that He called us to be.  If we will seek His word and follow as churches, we'll stand out in obedience.

Probably even more so than my coffee stands above Maxwell House.

 

Doug

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