I can’t imagine being a foreigner in America and trying to learn English. We use hundreds of idioms that often need to be explained if they’re to have the impact intended. Take for example, measure up. We tell ourselves and often say about others that we don’t measure up. It means that there’s a standard, a norm, by which we’re comparing ourselves or others. The result isn’t good; we don’t have the quality or ability to reach that standard.
The Psalmist writes in verses 137-144 that he understood this concept; he identified God as the Divine Standard, and realized he didn’t measure up. He paled in comparison, as we all do, when measured to God. His standard is perfection and His decisions are just, fair, and right. That’s the word of the day, used six times: righteous.
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12 ESV)
Since that’s true what hope do we have if we don’t measure up? Jesus said that He didn’t come for the righteous but for sinners, well, we qualify there. What’s the solution? Admit it to God, repentance, and here’s the clincher, receive His righteousness.
For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)
The Psalmist goes on to exclaim that he’s passionate about this truth, he’s experienced God’s forgiveness and desires it for others. Do we share this same passion of desiring others, our family, friends, or co-workers to experience the righteousness of Jesus? It begins with humility, a realization that you’re insignificant (vs. 141) but through Jesus, that can change.
He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7 NLT)
As the author endured trials in his life (vs. 143) he depended on his relationship with God; it brought him delight. So let’s come up higher to our Standard, Jesus Christ so that we may live that kind of life (vs. 144) reaching our potential, our destiny in Him. Even though God’s beyond measure, with Jesus’ righteousness given to us we can begin to measure up.
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8 NLT)