It's almost cliché.
The 'ol "Everyone else is doing it" excuse.
Our mothers didn't buy it.
We tell our kids its a flimsy excuse.
And yet, I hear or read it all the time.
- Everyone yells at their kids, it's okay!
- Everyone has times where they pretend to be listening to their kids, but they really aren't.
- Everyone spends more than they should and gives less than they could. Don't worry about it!
- Everyone gossips a bit. As long as it isn't a habit, it's okay.
- Everyone watches bad movies sometimes. You're an adult, it's okay to have a guilty pleasure or two!
- Everyone spends too much time on the computer and ignores their kids from time to time. Don't feel guilty!
Everyone, everyone, everyone.
Maybe everyone does yell at their kids. Perhaps everyone gossips. Maybe everyone does spend money on themselves instead of giving to those in need.
Or maybe not.
And even if the word everyone weren't an exaggeration, does it really make it okay? Do we really take our cues for what is right or wrong based on what everyone else is doing? Is that really the place we should get our ideals from?
What if Noah had gone with that plan? Genesis 6 tells us,
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually...but Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD...Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God 6:5,8-9.
If Noah had gone with the "everybody" plan and excused bad behavior because everyone else was doing it (and the word everyone was apparently not an exaggeration!), he would have lost his life like everyone else in the flood.
I am not saying that an instance of sin disqualifies us from God's love, from righteous living, or from being Mother of the Year. However, what I am saying, is that we need to take an honest look at our lives, choices, and actions and ask ourselves what God would think. How would the "Well, everyone else does it!" excuse hold up? Would we be proud to tell the Lord that we take our cues from society or would we be ashamed that we ignored His command to not be conformed to the pattern of this world?
We need to change our place of comparison. If we compare ourselves to others, we can always find a way to feel good and to justify our behavior. But if we take our lives and instead place them in front of the Word of God and then see how we measure up, our conclusion, I believe, will be much different.
It's true. Everyone makes mistakes. We ALL sin. I've been known to yell at my kids (though by God's grace and discipline I can say that it is a very rare occurence now). I've been known to fiddle on Facebook instead of meet my kids emotional needs. I've spoken words about people that should have never left my lips. I've done it, and I will probably do it again. I'm sinful like that.
But it doesn't make it okay.
I want my life to look more and more like Christ's each day. I don't want to use the world and "everyone" as a benchmark.
I want the Word to live inside of me and transform me right down to my DNA.
I don't really care what everyone else is doing.