It’s safe to say that each NFL team has goals they are trying to reach – winning a few more games than the year before…making the playoffs…or going to the Super Bowl. There are expectations and standards they want to shoot for throughout the year.

Houston Texans’ head coach, Bill O’Brien, understands his team needs to take the next step and realizes the bar has been raised. This is what he said before the season started:

“We understand that 9-7 is not the bar. We feel like we’ve made some really good strides here in the past two years with our football team. We’ve overcome some adversity. We have a mentally tough team.

We’ve got a bunch of great guys in that locker room, but we know that the 9-7 bar is too low. We understand that. I think everybody in this league understands that.

We’re very well aware of the fact that we need to go out there and play more consistent, play better than we have in the past. But that is in the past. This is a new team and I really like the way this team is practicing. We’ll go from there.”

I find this mentality translates to the standard we have as followers of Jesus. We can no longer settle for being like we were in the past or living like the rest of the world.

The bar is set much higher for us and we can’t settle for just being “9-7” by not taking strides to be more and more like Jesus each day. We rest in His grace as we recognize he’s the benchmark for how to live.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:13-16 (NLT), “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children.

Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’”

As followers of Jesus, we seek holiness, and to be different from the rest of the world. Today, let’s not settle for being the same as we were last year or even yesterday. Through God’s transforming power, let’s grow and live according to His standards. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, you are Holy and wonderful. I pray that You would give me the strength to seek holiness in the way I live my life. I thank you for the grace that’s been given as I strive to be set apart from the world. I want to be different and I know I’m held to a higher standard. Help me to raise the bar as I trust and follow You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.