I once had some surgery to correct a finger that was crooked due to Dupuytren’s contracture. After the operation I needed some physical therapy in order to regain full function of my hand.
During one session, my therapist wanted to see how straight my finger was by comparing it to my other hand. What she didn’t know was that the fingers on both of my hands are kind of gnarly and busted up. This is partly genetic and partly due to the fact that I have banged up my fingers many times while participating in sports.
When I held up my “good” hand for comparison, and she saw how crooked the fingers are, she quickly said, “Never mind.”
You can’t measure the straightness of something unless you have something straight as a guideline.
We can’t measure how holy we are by looking at other imperfect human beings. We get our idea of holiness from God. Any other comparison will only give us a false impression of our true standing. We might think we are doing pretty well if we compare ourselves to how other people are living. But then we would only be fooling ourselves.
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.”–1 Peter 1:15-16.