When the Norm Becomes the Rule

What is “special needs”? It’s when a person is 2 years or more behind the normal progress in development.

What is the measure of intelligence? How fast someone gives the right answer.

What is spiritual growth? It’s when certain milestones are reached along the way toward spiritual maturity.

These are normal answers…and they’re all wrong. Well, not necessarily wrong, but they’re not right. They are simply measurements.

Against what do we measure normal development? We measure it against the norm of human physical and mental development. When someone doesn’t measure up to what has been deemed “normal” by the the experts (who are they, anyway?), then a person has special needs. But who says that being out of the norm is a sign of a lack of development?

How about intelligence? Person A gets more right answers faster than Person B and person A is more “intelligent.” But who made that standard? That standard is actually according to an Industrial Revolution model where Mathematics and Engineering and the like (what we know as STEM) were vital to growing the economy. We are now well into the Information Age, and while STEM is vital, so are so many other things, such as Counseling, Psychology, Computer Programming, and medicine (nurse, massage therapists, e.g.) all of which are not considered STEM but rather require lots of time spent in design and in the soft skills. The SAT measures the old definition of intelligence, but it’s outdated and limited as far as being necessary to the economy.

What is spiritual growth? There are certain signs of growth, and that’s fine insofar as it’s a guideline. But it has become so much a rule that if someone doesn’t appear to have reached that step, or as perhaps skipped it, then their salvation is suspect. Who made the rule that growth had to be done in a certain way?

Guidelines are great, and necessary, so that we know what to look for. But we like to be lazy and put everything in simple categories. When guidelines become the rule, then we are asking for trouble.

How has that happened in the sample areas I’ve mentioned above? When someone doesn’t sit still as is the norm, then out come the analysts and even the drugs. That person is not normal, THEREFORE something is wrong.

That person doesn’t learn as quickly as others, and is even uninterested, so she is stuck in a special class. When the whole time she’s a dancer and would have flourished in the arts.

Because he missed the class on Christian lingo, he must not be saved, or he’s got a LONG way to go. He’s not using the right and proper jargon that’s befitting a modern-day Christian. He says “Dude” instead of “Pastor,” “Sweet” instead of “Praise the Lord,” “Keep it on the DL” instead of “Avoid gossiping.” And he’s still wearing those earrings!

We judge, not based on correct principles, but by man-made traditions and rules. We are surrounded, and habits of thinking make life a lot easier. But when we rule people’s lives with society’s standards, instead of guiding people’s souls with living principles, we end up killing progress and creativity, and binding the soul.

(please note: any ads below are there because WordPress needs to cover their costs – they probably don’t reflect my worldview)

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