Has anyone ever told you after you’ve presented something, “That just doesn’t measure up”? Or even more personal, “Sorry, you just don’t measure up”?
When someone makes one of these statements, the person is saying that there is some standard—whether a corporate policy or even a personal judgment—that has not been met. It is typically subjective.
When someone tells us that we don’t measure up, whether it be those exact words or some phrase that communicates the intent, it is painful. This encounter often produces anger, shame, or apathy. Or all three.
Certainly we have all had “you don’t measure up” moments that we let go or maybe even caused relief, as in a job we didn’t want or a girlfriend we didn’t like anyway. But then there are “you don’t measure up” moments that end up defining every moment that follows.
“You don’t measure up” can become “So, I don’t measure up, therefore I fail at most everything.” Let’s look at two scenarios of how this impacts us as men and how to address it.
Problem: You are living 24/7 with a “you don’t measure up” moment from the past and it affects almost everything you do. You’re stuck. Now, no matter who tells you that you can, you believe you can’t, so you don’t.
Solution: Christ offers you His life and resurrection power that always measures up. He believes in you enough to provide this to you; you just have to believe in Him enough to admit your weakness and receive His strength. Healing comes through Christ.
Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. —Philippians 3:8-10a CEV
Problem: You are consistently around someone who tells you in various ways that “you don’t measure up” and it affects almost everything you do. And you believe them. They’ve trained you well.
Solution: First, your response has to change. You have to come out from under the judgment. Second, if at all possible, you need to separate yourself from this person. Maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. That relationship is toxic and leads to a slow death. If this person is your wife or other close family member, obviously separation isn’t the answer, so you will have to be honest and put a stop to the vicious cycle. Most often, in a close personal relationship, this takes professional counseling to work out and heal.
So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God. —Matthew 5:23 CEV (This is in effect if you are the angry one as well.)
Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, and do your best to live at peace with everyone. —Romans 12:17-19
No matter who, or how many voices, have screamed “you don’t measure up,” God has His own standard that is met when you and Christ are one. I fully understand that if you suffer from “I don’t measure up,” you won’t be healed just from reading an article. But healing can come from a spiritual catalyst—like this—meeting obedience, bringing on an “Enough is enough!” moment. The stake is driven. The gauntlet is thrown. The time for change is now.