“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
There is lots of use of the word, “Normalized” right now. Our political process has brought this word to the forefront and we now are debating what is to be “normal” and what is not. I can reflect on a lifetime of things being normalized as any generation can. It was within my lifetime that we wore coats and ties to travel on airplanes. The same was done when going to work. Small example, but an example of how things change to become normal. It was not that long ago that someone new into a company had no access to the CEO other than to go make an appointment to see him/her, which would never happen because many layers of authority and what was considered “normal” protocol would prevent it from occurring. But today, the intern can send an email or Slack message to the CEO, with an idea, a complaint or a suggestion and the intern expects a reply. Yes, we are always normalizing, but the question we have to ask is, “are we normalizing to where we want to go”? As I see it, there is only one litmus test to normalizing and that is a set of values and principles that are subscribed to by leadership that create the guardrails and boundaries to test where the normalizing is occurring. And so it goes that we need to become more stringent and cautious so that we don’t find ourselves normalizing to a place we really wish we weren’t.
God’s Word provides us a wealth of knowledge as to where we should allow normalization and where we shouldn’t. Christian author and speaker, Jen Hatmaker was quoted from Facebook and Instagram about normalization when she cried out about the normalization of words and behaviors from our political figures that she wouldn’t accept from her seventh-grade son. I believe that God didn’t call us to be a part of the normalization of those things that run against the values that He set for us to follow and the best way we can do this to not allow those things around us to become normal for us. Our own example is the most powerful one that we have and how we conduct ourselves daily in our business and life is setting for others what we consider to be normal, or not. Yes, it is a burden to have to think about this daily when others who are not believers never give it a second-thought. But, that is where we are not to be normal.
Reference: Matthew 16:26 (New Living Translation)