One of my mum’s favourite jokes of all time was from that quirky comedian Joe Pasquale: My old job was collecting goldfish farts for Spirit Levels. Every since she told me it has made me giggle in the DIY section when I see the selection of Spirit Levels. This week while I was snooping around other people blogs I came across this post by Connie at Raise your Eyes about plumb lines. It got me thinking about how often we measure ourselves against one another, like putting the spirit level on top of two walls being built to make sure they are even. We like to compare ourselves with others, to snoop around in their lives to decide if we are better off or worse off. We wonder how come their live is so easy, or how come their husband got a good job, or why their grass is greener. But instead of using a spirit level against our neighbour we should be using a plumb line to measure ourselves against God.
Isaiah 28:16-17 But the Master, GOD, has something to say to this: “Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion, a solid granite foundation, squared and true. And this is the meaning of the stone: A TRUSTING LIFE WON’T TOPPLE. 17 I’ll make justice the measuring stick and righteousness the plumb line for the building. A hailstorm will knock down the shantytown of lies, and a flash flood will wash out the rubble. (The Message)
The standard we are measured against is not the opinion and approval of others, nor is it the measure of God’s love for us. Instead God’s character is the plumb line. Although we know we don’t measure up we remember that the one who hold the plumb line knows that and loves us anyway.
So when I get frustrated at how well other people lives seem to be going this week I will remember that you can’t use a Goldfish fart as a true measure of things. Instead I will seek God’s opinion – the one who holds all things, including futures and rain clouds in his hands.