Most who know me know I am a Disney geek. I especially enjoy the trivia and anything to do with what happens behind the scenes; that is, seeing what makes things tick at the Disney parks.
"Held to a higher standard" was a phrase I heard while watching a behind-the-scenes documentary about Disney World. The program discussed the careful planning and hard work put into building the parks and hotels. How Disney wants every guest to feel special. Disney wants everyone to have a great experience, and to feel like it's their first visit every time they enter one of the parks. Cast members at Disney are expected to act a certain way and treat patrons as honored guests. "Disney is held to a higher standard" was the claim. That got me to thinking about our role as Christians, and how we too are held to a higher standard.
What is expected of us? When we put on the name of Christian, shouldn't we want everyone around us to have a good experience? This can be a challenge for a Christian living in today’s world, but it is what God expects of us. When we become a Christian, it is a role we should not take lightly. We have a responsibility to uphold and bring honor to the name of Jesus Christ our elder brother. Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
American King James Version×says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (KJV throughout).
There are so many areas in life where we should maintain a higher standard. One would be in the way we raise our children. Our kids are drowning in a sea of sin. We need to teach them to keep their heads above water, even though so much around them is trying to make them sink. We need to teach them what sin is and to make every effort to turn them away from it
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7 Deuteronomy 6:7And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
American King James Version×).
Our children should stand out. This doesn't mean we teach them that they are better than others, but that they should also be an example to others. We need to teach them that they are representing Christ and what an important role that is.
Another area we should hold to a higher standard is marital relationships. On television we too often see wives and husbands acting disrespectful, hateful, and scheming against each other. Many seem to think this is funny and entertaining. As Christian women we should be a supporting rib to our spouse and not a thorn in his side. We were created to be a helper to our husbands. Genesis 2:22-23 Genesis 2:22-23  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her to the man.
 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
American King James Version×says, “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man". The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘for she was taken out of man.”
Similarly, husbands should be supportive of their wives. A man who degrades his wife or treats her like a second class citizen is not acting as God wants. Colossians 3:19 Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
American King James Version×says, "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them,” and in Ephesians 5:25 Ephesians 5:25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
American King James Version×, Ephesians 5:28-29 Ephesians 5:28-29  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:
American King James Version×we read, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.”
I found that to be true in my own marriage. My husband and I have been married for almost 19 years and it is getting better every year. Each year we are married we grow closer as a true team – one flesh, and in turn we are happier.
Another area to consider the "having a higher standard" mentality is our behavior in public. Again, not that we are any better, but as Christians we are always on duty. We are representing our elder brother Jesus Christ every time we are in contact with the public, in stores, driving, on the phone or on the Internet. How quickly we could disrespect the name of Jesus by something we say in social media, or an ugly handgesture while driving, or acting rude to a sales person. We have to remember we are always on the clock.
What about our jobs? Do we represent Christ in the workplace? Exodus 20:7 Exodus 20:7You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
American King James Version×tells us, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." Do we have a higher standard? Do we work without grumbling or complaining? This is a strict rule in our house: no complaining. If anyone complains I proceed to read Philippians 2:14 Philippians 2:14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
American King James Version×, which says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing.” We are given the chance to be a light to others in the work place. Do we take it? Do we show our higher standard? The Bible commands us to do all that we do as if we are doing for the Lord. Colossians 3:23 Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;
American King James Version×says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” If we do our jobs without grumbling or complaining, we’ll provide a good example and bring honor to the name “Christian.”
I am not perfect at any of these things, but it is something I pray about and ask God to help me with. I am working hard at having a "higher standard". I pray that I can be a good example to others and bring honor to the name of Christ. Being a Christian is hard work, but with prayer and faith, I know walking in my elder brother's footsteps will get easier. When we slip up, we must remember that any bumps along the way are developing our character. As long as we are striving for a higher standard, we are on the right path.
To learn more about what God has to say about this, read our free Bible study aid Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion.