“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God.” Philippians 3:14 KJV
“Average and adequate are not words that you should allow to describe you.”
My thoughts today are that “good enough is not good enough.”
The culture of today feels more comfortable with mediocrity, the acceptable norm is average – not much less than others and not much more than others. There seems to be an inclination to reward mediocrity and punish anyone who rises too far above it. The one who achieves less than others is looked upon with charity; those who achieve too much more are viewed with jealous suspicion.
The common expectation is too low for you to follow. The culture’s acceptable morality is more often immorality – its norm for modesty is immodest – its acceptable speech is proud and profane – its assumption of need is excess – its tolerance indulges wrong and mocks what is good – its pride is in its shame. See Philippians 3:18-19 NIV. “Be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world . .” See Romans 12:1-2 NLT.
Average and adequate are not words that you should allow to describe you. You can always do better than you think you could, if you’re willing to try. Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Henry Ward Beecher. If you never accept of yourself anything less than the best of which you are capable, you can ask of others nothing less than their best. You should not expect of others more than you require of yourself.
Good enough is not good enough, if you choose to live for the glory of God, Here’s the standard the Bible sets for you, “May the God of peace . . equip you with everything good for doing His will, and work in you what is pleasing to Him . . to Whom be glory for ever and ever.” Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV. That’s God’s standard. I think that God calls you to reach for a higher standard of excellence – “what is pleasing to Him!”
Be careful of whom you aspire to please. Yourself? You are too subjective. Your friends? They are not objective. Your critics? You will never please them. The crowd? You cannot please everyone. There is only One before whom you will ultimately stand to give an account for your life and how you have lived. Read 1 Corinthians 3:11-18/Revelation 20:11-12 NIV. Live only to please God.
Excellence is a value to prize and a goal to pursue. I think that describes the passion and singular pursuit of Paul as he wrote the words of today’s verse. A word of caution: do not confuse excellence with perfection. You are not capable of the latter in this lifetime; you are accountable for the former in the life to come. Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington.
Excellence is not a competition to outdo others, nor is it measured in comparison to others. Success is being the best; excellence is doing your best! A good rule for life is simply this: always give your best, and what you do, do for the glory of God. Just enough is not enough, and good enough is not good enough. My Dad often said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” I believe him.
My prayer for you today is: give God your best, and do everything as unto the Lord.