Measuring Up

Here in the Rhodes’ home, we are in the third month of our three-week renovation project.  During this project, there have been a few times when I was on one end of a tape measure: not my favorite place to be. Who has time to count all those little lines and figure out fractions? Why isn’t “a little past 31 and a half inches” good enough? Admittedly, sharing the tape measure is not part of our marital highlights.

Cooking isn’t as nitpicky. I rarely measure vanilla or cinnamon, two of my favorite flavors in baking. I can’t remember the last time a measuring spoon entered my cinnamon container. It’s best to eyeball those ingredients. Shockingly, I also always add more chocolate than the recipe recommends.

I’m not the only one in my family to ignore measurements. My brother never got the hang of a dollop. At Thanksgiving, when he supposed to add Cool Whip to his pie, he had no idea what a proper dollop should look like. My dad would just stare and say, “Having a little pie with your Cool Whip?” His plate would look just like a mound of Cool Whip, giving no indication that a piece of pie lurked under all that fluffy fake topping.

For some reason, humans are obsessed with measuring things. We have created measuring cups, spoons, rulers, yardsticks (which are also useful for retrieving dog toys from under the range or sofa), odometers, thermometers, blood pressure apparatuses, laser beams, scales (my least favorite), audiometers, and the list goes on.

We usually don’t stop with measuring things; we usually find a way to measure ourselves against other people. Unfortunately, some of us fall into the trap of measuring ourselves using the wrong instrument.

What is the best instrument for measuring my appearance? Certainly not some air-brushed woman in a magazine.

My height? Definitely not by standing next to my youngest daughter (I’m 5’ 3.5” and she is 5’ 10”).

My intelligence? Rather easy to decipher when working on a 100-piece puzzle with my grandson and he’s snapping pieces together while glancing at my work and saying, “That piece doesn’t go there, Mimi.”

My teaching acumen? The result is better if I measure myself against a student teacher during his or her first time in front of a class.

The accuracy of the measurement is dependent upon the measuring tool. Using a ruler to measure a field or a teaspoon to measure the amount of water in a swimming pool will not render accurate length or volume. Choosing our own human measuring tool gives us a flawed assessment of ourselves.

Basically, we can determine how beautiful, kind, wealthy, tall, or gifted we are by selecting our own measuring mechanism. I think that may be why some people have a huge ego while others have no self-confidence.

Tired of manipulating your own measurements and want a true reading of your worth? Your Creator already knows your value and has determined that you are deserving of His love. How does He measure the right amount of love for you? He pours out His love for us liberally, extravagantly, and with great abundance.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us . . .” I John 3:1

God doesn’t measure according to a recipe. God shares his love with us the way I dump chocolate chips into my  cookie dough or the way my brother slathered his pie with Cool Whip.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down,

shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  John 6:38

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