I need to have norms and standards in order to make appropriate decisions in my life. Norms are a method of measuring one thing against another to make sure it is accurate. In my family of origin, our norms were measured against what is stated in the scriptures, as in the 10 commandments. My parents were certain that the norms stated in the Bible, and the model of in Jesus’ life, were the perfect measurement.
Standards focus on who or what stands behind my norms. As a child I adopted my parents standards of behavior, or suffered discipline until I did. Now my heavenly Father is the author of my standards, the same as he was for my parents.
Norms and standards are a way for me to have checks and balances in my life. If I’m in the midst of turmoil and indecision, I stop, stay still and make application of what the scriptures say. I find the scriptures that will correct or verify my thinking. I don’t rely on memory only. The tools I like to use are a book of promises from the Bible, a concordance, a trusted pastor/teacher, family and friends.
I think it’s a good thing to have my norms and standards written down, on paper and in my heart. I mean heart not as the literal muscle, but as the seat of my soul. I’ve a stream of consciousness that resides in my heart. If I’m diligent in studying, refining and reviewing what the scripture tells me, those thoughts are circulating there so applications can be made on the fly.
My observations of some folks is that they are bouncing from one self-help book, one new idea to another. Nothing satisfies for long and they are on the search again. Most of these ideas are human view-point. Based on what? Psychology, someone else’s theory, a pseudo-religion, a fruitless search for the perfect panacea. I recommend to try the time-tested scriptures. I’m not perfect, but I’m operating under my norms and standards, making adjustments as necessary. I’m a life-long learner.