How do you measure up?

I have always been a fan of science. I have never really been good at it but I can absolutely appreciate all of the sciences. I was a fan of biology and physics whereas my daughter, who is the science nerd in the family, loves chemistry.

Let’s do a quick lesson in physics.

When temperature is measured, the measurement is based on the amount of heat an object produces or emits or the amount of heat is in the atmosphere. Cold cannot be measured. Refrigeration works by removing the heat. Cold cannot be added (as much as my husband loves to disagree with me on this).

When light is measured, the measurement is based on how much light is being emitted from a light source. Darkness cannot be measured. When speed is measured, the measurement is based on the rate at which something moves. Stillness cannot be measured.

When sound is measured, the measurement is based on how much noise an object makes and at what decibel. Silence cannot be measured (but it can be felt but that is a totally different topic for discussion).

When water levels are reviewed or plants are being assessed, scientists are looking at the water and measuring hydration. Dryness cannot be measured.

In essence, darkness, cold, silence, stillness and dryness do not exist. They are all just a lack of something that does exist. We cannot measure or compare things that do not exist. Science doesn’t allow for it.

When we look at our lives, what are we measuring or comparing ourselves to? We all know it is unhealthy and unwise to compare ourselves to others. Really we can only compare ourselves to who/how we were yesterday, last week, last month or even last year.

When we describe ourselves, what words do we use?

A number of years ago, I used to meet with an NLP practitioner. NLP is the abbreviation for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. This is basically a study and practice of examining how the words we use affect our brain and how we think. NLP practitioners work with you to use positive words, phrases and thoughts to change how your brain works. It does not mean you have to be happy all the time. It encourages you to use words or phrases that have a positive meaning or connotation.

Look at the word should, for example. ‘Should’ has a very negative connotation. It is often associated with guilt and shame. I.e. I should have gone to the gym yesterday. So out of our sessions, I came up with this phrase – I need to stop shoulding myself. First of all, it stops me from using the word. And when I say ‘shoulding’, it sounds like shitting, which of course also sounds very negative but appropriate. Stop shoulding myself = stop shitting on myself = stop being so hard on myself.

Another example of NLP is avoiding words that end in ‘er’ (better, more, happier, etc.). Words that end in ‘er’ make it sound like you never had it to begin with. I am doing better today = I did not have a good day yesterday.

I John 1:5-7 says “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”

While Jesus was battling wits with the Pharisees, He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” Luke 16:15

God knows what is in our hearts and souls and minds. Let’s measure ourselves by how much of God’s light we are letting into our soul. Let’s measure our lives by how much we thirst for the Word of God, by how much we are fulfilled by His love and presence. Let us also try to measure ourselves up to the expectations set by the Lord, our God. He is the only one we need to measure up to.

Again, I ask: how do you describe yourself? Your day? How things are going in your life? Do you focus on the positive? Do you focus on things that exist and are measurable? Even science focuses on the positives in life, so why don’t we?

Praise to the Lord

1 Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
    you have done wonderful things,
    things planned long ago.
You have made the city a heap of rubble,
    the fortified town a ruin,
the foreigners’ stronghold a city no more;
    it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will honour you;
    cities of ruthless nations will revere you.
You have been a refuge for the poor,
    a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
    and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
    is like a storm driving against a wall
    and like the heat of the desert.
You silence the uproar of foreigners;
    as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
    so the song of the ruthless is stilled. Isaiah 25:1-5

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