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It's Not All RelativeIt's Not All Relative
by Tom Norvell


    I have heard the phrase “It’s all relative” most of my life, and was never real sure I understood what it meant until I began to look at my life in comparison to the lives of those around me — until I began to notice how my perspective differed from others.

    Students use the phrase, “It’s all relative.” Some students are thrilled to see a “C” on their report card. Others will be satisfied with nothing below a “B.” Still others will be devastated with anything less than an “A.”

    Golfers use the phrase, “It’s all relative.” For a golfer like me to shoot in the seventies would be a dream come true. For some who play better than I do it would be a really good round. For a really good golfer it would be an off day. For Tiger Woods it would have the critics saying Tiger’s in a slump.

    Businessmen and businesswomen use the phrase, “It’s all relative.” Some are disappointed if they are not at the top of the ladder. Others want to be near the top. Still others are satisfied with making a good living.

With sports, business, fashions, and some life choices, “It’s all relative” may be appropriate. However...
    When discussing automobiles we could use the phrase, “It’s all relative.” There are those who absolutely must have the latest, the fastest, and the most expensive model made. There are those who want a good dependable car, but do not mind if it has a few miles on it. And, then there are those who are content as long it has four wheels and an engine.

    The phrase, “It’s all relative” may also be used to describe our tastes and choices in clothing, computers, houses, and restaurants. Some may even use it to describe their Christian walk. For some just being on a church roll is enough. Some want to be selectively involved in church life. Others are content with only a total commitment.

    With sports, business, fashions, and some life choices, “It’s all relative” may be appropriate as we explain who we act, how we feel, or to justify our motives. However, I do not believe “It’s all relative” will be an acceptable response when we stand before God to give an account for our lives. In Mark 10:35-45, two of Jesus’ disciples are attempting to justify why they deserve certain prestigious positions in His kingdom. Jesus responds in verse 43, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” In John 21, as Jesus describes Peter’s future, Peter turns to John and says, “What about him?” Jesus responds, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Jesus seems to be making strong statements that in His mind “It’s not all relative.” Some things are absolute. Some things matter more than others.

    As you walk with God this week, pay careful attention to what He wants you to do, then try your best to do it. Because it’s not all relative.

      © 2002, Tom Norvell. Used by permission. A Norvell Note is a weekly email message from Tom Norvell. Check it out!

      Title: "It's Not All Relative"
      Author: Tom Norvell
      Publication Date: March 21, 2002


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