“Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.”
For some reason, we find people today who are afraid to declare who they are and what they believe. We live in times when people are so afraid of offending someone that we won’t make clear our standard. It is almost as if people are trying to be incognito about their beliefs, but incognito Christians have never changed society. What you believe and stand for is important to make a change in lives.
God told Jeremiah in the verse above, “Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard…” God was very interested in Jeremiah not concealing the message of God. God was very concerned that everything He wanted said would be declared to the people so that there would be no mistake as to what He was going to do. Not only was the standard that God established important, but the clarity and the declaration of it were also important to God. There are several things that can be learned from God’s message about declaring the standard.
First, there is nothing wrong with having a standard. In fact, everybody has some standard. The difference is not if you have a standard, but the difference is where the standard is placed. A standard simply draws the line for clarity so people know where they should and should not cross. You must be careful not to allow the voices of progressive Christians to shame you into believing that standards are wrong because even they have a standard.
Second, a standard is of no value if it is concealed. Herein lies the problem with many Christians. Many Christians are so afraid of offending others or running people off that they hide the standard of what they believe. My friend, you will lose the next generation of Christians if the standard of what you believe is concealed. The standard should be clear as to what you believe so that you can teach it to those who are inquisitive about your beliefs. You cannot teach people what is right and wrong if you conceal what you believe. Part of the reason for declaring your standard is so that you can teach younger Christians what they should believe according to the Scriptures.
Third, publishing a standard defines your difference. God wants the world to know that His children are different. If the world is offended because of scriptural standards, so be it. The Christian is not to change their standard to appease the world, but the world needs to see the standard so they can understand why the Christian way of living is so much better. If the Christian way of living is where blessings are found, why are you afraid to publish what you believe?
Fourth, publishing the standard is what keeps you standing for truth. There is something about the Christian who declares what they believe that puts good pressure on them to continue standing for right. Every time you are tempted to compromise what you believe, what you declared to everyone is what puts pressure on you to stay the same.
Christian, stop worrying about what others think of your standard and make it clear so the world knows that the standard of holy living is where the blessings of God are found. Your concern needs to be with what God thinks about you than it is about what others think about you.