I have sweet memories of my grandfather’s carpenter shop from when I was a little girl. My sister and I would often sneak in to his shop when we were at his house to peak at his new creations, smell the fresh wood shavings, and look for cool gadgets. Like any good carpenter, he had a plumb line among his many tools. I did not realize the significance of it at the time, but now I understand why my grandfather would have wanted a plumb line among his things.
A plumb line is used by a carpenter to help them keep their work straight. When someone is working on a project, it can be difficult to see exactly where a true vertical line is. A plumb line, however, uses the law of gravity to always show exactly where the line is, thus helping the carpenter to ensure that his work will not end up crooked. Plumb lines will always work when they are used correctly.
As believers, God’s Word should be the plumb line for our lives. We should use it to help keep us on the straight and narrow path. God’s Word is full of wisdom, and we can always go to it and trust it for answers that will help us stay on the path God intends for us to walk.
When we do keep God’s Word as the plumb line for our lives, we will find that excellence naturally follows. However, many times we want to define excellence by looking to others and comparing ourselves to them. If we are “better” or we feel our work is “better” than theirs, we feel we are excellent. This kind of comparison will always fail us. In the case of my grandfather, if he built a structure that was slightly crooked and someone else built a structure that was very crooked, this kind of thinking would say that his work was “excellent.” When compared to the plumb line, though, he would have known immediately that his work was indeed not excellent. The same can be said of us when we compare our lives to God’s Word. When we look to see what God’s Word says about being excellent, we will realize that the Bible does not define it using the works of others. It instead reminds us that our excellence is found in how we love God and follow Him.
So the next time you see the plumb line symbol, remember that excellence is not a task that we feel we accomplish and then we are done. Excellence instead should be a core value and a way of life that has us constantly seeking to see if our plumb line of God’s Word lines up with how we are living our lives.
Elementary Education Principal
Logos Preparatory Academy
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