A Higher Standard | Tomorrow’s World — May/June 2024

A Higher Standard

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What do the standards we use tell us about our society and our character? There is a moral standard that shows us the way to better relationships with our fellow man—and with God Himself!

The “About Us” page of the CSA Group’s official website reads, “CSA Group is a global organization dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. We are a leader in Standards Development and in Testing, Inspection and Certification around the world including Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. Our mandate is to hold the future to a higher standard” (CSAGroup.org, 2024).

The CSA Group seeks to make a difference in the world, which is evident in its lofty objective of holding the future to a higher standard. CSA is an acronym for Canadian Standards Association. While the CSA Group now performs testing, inspection, and certification, it has since its inception been involved in developing standards.

Found on billions of products, processes, and services distributed within Canada, the CSA mark is well-recognized and respected. That mark, with its distinctive logo, indicates that the product, process, or service has been rigorously tested to specific standards and complies with the requirements of those standards. Canadians’ safety and health have been greatly enhanced by the standards developed by the CSA Group.

Order Out of Chaos

A standard is defined as something established by an authority as a rule for measuring quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality. Some synonyms for standard are guideline, norm, yardstick, benchmark, gauge, measure, criterion, guide, model, pattern, example, rule, and law. Standards are principles of conduct that support an established rule.

Generally, a standard allows some acceptable variation or deviation, although the range is typically quite narrow, allowing a standard’s quality specifications to be met if the final result is within the range. It also identifies potentially dangerous “off-spec” outliers that must be reworked or discarded.

In our daily lives, we encounter many products, processes, and services resulting from human ingenuity. We take it for granted that they will function, yet we seldom consider the standards that help ensure that functioning. Standards bring order and safety to our lives, and most people would agree that they are very necessary. Construction materials, automobiles, bridges, airplane parts, toasters, and toothbrushes work better and are safer because of standards. Canada, through the spearhead of the CSA Group, has been a world leader in setting industrial standards for more than a century.

In 1917, amidst the horror and chaos of World War I, technical and safety standards were strategically important. War equipment manufactured by Allied nations, never designed or envisioned with international compatibility in mind, was of necessity intermixed on the battlefield. Results were frustrating, confusing, and sometimes deadly. In those turbulent times, the idea of an organization tasked with creating and coordinating standards among the Allies was born. A group of Canada’s top engineers took up that challenge.

What began as a wartime effort to standardize equipment did not end with the war. Canada is a vast country with diverse terrain and climatic conditions. Unifying the nation and propelling it forward economically became the next challenging objective. The CSA—a non-profit, non-governmental organization—was founded in 1919 under a federal charter to improve the safety of Canada’s infrastructure (CSA Group, 100 Years of Holding the Future to a Higher Standard: The CSA Group’s Centennial Anniversary 2019, pp. 5–6).

Initially, the CSA focused on railway bridges and electricity, paramount for unifying the country. That scope soon grew to include airplane parts and wire rope, then expanded into household, industrial, and medical products. Over the years, it has continued to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the Canadian economy. Today, the CSA’s scope has branched out to include industries such as energy (petroleum and nuclear), healthcare, public safety, information and communication technology, and the environment. “The mission of the CSA Group’s Standard Development organization is to enhance the lives of Canadians through the advancement of standards in the public and private sectors. We are a leader in standards research, development, education, and advocacy. The technical and management standards developed with our 10,000 members improve safety, health, the environment, and the economic efficiency in Canada and beyond” (p. 80).

The CSA relies on an extensive network of thousands of volunteer members—experts with solid technical knowledge and experience. These volunteers share their skills, understanding, and passion in helping to develop standards because they know what they do makes a difference. It is important work; the nation’s industries could not operate effectively or efficiently without standards. Many of the standards developed have become part of Canadian legislation, are taught in trade schools, and have become “standard” practices within industry.

Although a Canadian organization, the impact of the CSA is felt globally. It collaborates with and leverages the work of organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Through these partnerships, the CSA also influences consistency in developing standards in other countries and internationally. The work of the CSA makes a difference in Canada and beyond.

God’s Moral Standards

Does God have standards? We can look to His creation and see that He does. All around us we see order, beauty, and purpose. When God builds something, He does a perfect job; He works to a high standard. God has built us; He is our Creator, and He alone has complete technical knowledge and experience as to how we are made and how best we can function. Unlike animals or plants, He has made us in His image and likeness. And because we reflect His image and likeness, He expects us to live our lives to a higher standard, which we find reflected in His laws and statutes.

In Job 1:8, God says to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Is that how God would describe us? Are we doing evil, or are we doing what is right in His eyes? God sets the standard; the only judgment that ultimately matters is His. How do we measure up to the higher standard that God has given us? That standard is essential. It makes a difference.

We are God’s creation and workmanship. He knows us intimately. When we follow His higher standard, we will live happy, abundant, and fulfilling lives. Our lives are not our own; the physical life we now have is a manifestation of God’s power and belongs to Him. At some point, He will ask for an accounting of what He has given us. Only those who obey His laws and genuinely strive to live repentant lives within the boundary created by those laws will enter into His kingdom. Within the boundary of God’s perfect law, there is absolute peace, safety, and joy. We should be grateful that He gives Christians His Holy Spirit, through which we can grow in grace, knowledge, and obedience to His perfect standard.

God’s standard for us is summarized in the Ten Commandments, which teach us how to love God and how to love our neighbour. We are to use this higher standard to examine ourselves and see how we measure up. The Ten Commandments are important; they are God’s higher standard. Unlike the standards set by human organizations such as the CSA, the Ten Commandments never need to be revised, and there is no acceptable deviation—they were literally set in stone, after all—for with God, there is “no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

You can find more information on the higher standard God has set for us by ordering a free copy of The Ten Commandments from the Regional Office nearest you or by reading it right here at Tomorrow’s World.


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