We can’t properly understand what is abnormal until we understand what is normal, and just because something is common does not mean it is normal. Contrary to popular belief, normal isn’t what most people do. It isn’t what is common. Normal is the way God created things to be and thus how they function properly- not what they are given the influence of Satan and fallen man, which corrupts. Normal is the original intended purpose of a thing, or the standard by which all else is compared. And abnormal is the degree to which we vary from that. Normal is what we should all be striving to get back to. In short, we need to view normal the way that God views it, not the way fallen man views it.
It is common for man(kind) to be arrogant and proud. It is common for man to be rebellious and selfish. It is common for man to sin and reject God. But none of this is normal. None of this is the way it was intended to be. None of this is the standard to which we should strive. All of this is far from what God intended at creation or intends for us now.
I am so angry and tired of people who normalize sin, apathy, abuse, lukewarmness, worldliness, idol worship (In America that looks like the worship of sports, celebrities, money, status, etc.) and all the other things clearly laid out in scripture as not of God. And I don’t care if the whole world decides something is “okay” just because “everyone does it” and it’s therefore “normal.” I don’t care if every professor, government official, and psychologist in the world says something is “okay” or “normal”. If it falls short of what God originally intended then it is NOT okay. It is NOT normal. It is NOT the standard.
And while we all fall short of God’s standard, that does not mean we get to lower the bar or change it to our liking. I’m not trying to be dogmatic or lacking in grace. I’m simply trying to express that God doesn’t change His standards just because we fail to meet them.
The bar is already set. God says “Be ye perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). This has been and will always be the desire of God. When we face God’s throne, we aren’t going to be judged based on the average level of sin per person. We aren’t going to be weighed in the balance compared to our neighbor. We’re going to be weighed on one side while Jesus – ultimate perfection – is on the other side. We’re going to be judged and compared to perfection and held accountable for anything and everything that falls short of that.
God is going to point at Jesus and say “this was the standard set for you, this is my normal”. And we will clearly see all the ways we fall short, except this time, we’ll have no more excuses and what government or society deemed “okay” will no longer matter. We will be judged in comparison to Jesus’ perfect example and whether or not we lived up to that, not the hellish standards of fallen man.
Those who live in perpetual awareness of the difference between our lives and Christ’s also live in perpetual awareness of our lack – our depravity – our impossible state. They’re the ones who continually cry out “Abba Father, forgive me a sinner unclean.” They’re the ones who both know and desperately cling to our High Priest and perfect sacrifice, Yeshua. Because we know that it is only by His blood and His works that we are saved from God’s judgement and wrath. Oh, how deeply our souls know our own depravity. How painfully aware we are of our need for Him.
It’s when we start normalizing the sin which is common to man that we stop seeing and feeling our need for Yeshua and start thinking we’re “okay” simply because we’re common. Let us never fall into the trap of thinking that God has lowered His standard of perfection just because we decided it didn’t matter and thus began our slippery slope away from Him.
Yes, oh yes, how deeply we need to redefine normal. How much we need to see the gulf between us and Him, so that we may know that it was never because of our works that we were saved, but only because of the perfect work and blood of Christ that we have been saved from wrath. How unworthy we are, and how worthy He is. Glory be to God for His love. For He truly is the author and finisher of our faith.