Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

Spot Check

I have a small confession to make. Last week, while I was away with the Army I got into trouble. Someone actually pulled me aside and gave me a brief talking-to about my behavior.

I was walking through the PX (Post Exchange), chatting with my wife about what I was shopping for, when someone stopped me. He was in civilian clothes, so I didn’t know his rank, but his tone had definite authority. He said, “Hey, Staff Sergeant! No walking and talking. Put the phone down.” I was shocked, and I didn’t know how to respond, so I simply said, “Yes, Sir.” Then I quickly told my wife I would have to call her back.

Yup, the Army created a rule (that I was unaware of) which states that soldiers are not allowed to walk and talk on the phone (even with Blue Tooth) at the same time while in uniform.

Immediately following this experience, I was slightly in shock. I couldn’t remember the last time someone pulled me aside and did a “spot check.” In the Army we call it a spot check when someone pulls you aside to fix your behavior immediately. After the initial shock , I was actually fairly thankful that this soldier cared enough about me to help me out. He wasn’t rude. He wasn’t mean. He was firm, but he did it in a caring way.

As I began to recall the whole event, I immediately thought about what this type of behavior could do for Christianity. Could you imagine what a “spot check” would look like in our faith? Could we love one another enough to pull someone aside and tell him what the standard is?

As I wrestled with the questions I came to one conclusion: there is no set standard in Christianity. There are so many viewpoints on what behavior is acceptable and what is not, that the answers aren’t clear. So with that in mind, how do we establish the standard?

Ultimately, the standard has to be set with the people  I have invited into my life and with the people I have decided are allowed to hold me accountable. Standards for faith and for life are set by the individuals who agree to live by them on a daily basis.

What standards are you living by?

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