The Expository Files


 There is a Higher Standard


Browsing through television channels recently brought to my attention a new car commercial that you will likely see or hear about. 

First let me tell you what you already may know: Madison Ave. marketing is designed to appeal to what people are attracted to and what we are looking for. How we advertise and buy products says something about who we are – our values and interests. Advertising people know this very well. 

So, this new car commercial goes like this. Over harmonizing piano notes and a series of slow-motion images – a female voice talks slowly about how “man is a determined creature” who has “an inherent calling to seek … to push … to improve … to transcend…” A few seconds into the commercial, the dominate line comes when the voiceover uses this phrase: “holding yourself to the standard of mankind.”  

Clever. And that phrase tells you a lot about where we are as a people in this place and time. It becomes a metaphor of modern values. 

What is attractive to consumers is “the standard of mankind.” In dress, in entertainment, in cars, houses, devices, religion, relationships – the highest standard most people conceive is “the standard of mankind.” It is very much like the time of the Judges of Israel, when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” and to their own ruin. 

The Christian’s response to this is simple. There is a higher standard. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” (Rom. 12:1,2). 

[To hear a sermon Warren recently delivered on this theme, visit the website: LHMCALLEN.ORG.]


By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 20.9; September 2013