Thursday, January 22, 2015

All or Nothing

Natalie Gabal did a little research to determine what would happen if 99.9% effort was "good enough."  And so did a few other folks.  IF 99.9% were good enough, this is what you could expect:
* 2 million documents would be lost by the IRS each year.    Not a problem unless one of them is yours;
* 291 pacemaker implants would be performed                    improperly this year.  Again, what if it were yours?
* 20,000 prescriptions will be written or filled incorrectly        in the next year;
* 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents EACH      DAY this year;
* 35,000 newborns will be dropped by a doctor or nurse this year.
* For 3 full days this year, everyone in America will have unsafe drinking water;
* 2 million people would die from food poisoning this year;

None of this sounds life-altering UNLESS it happens to you or someone you love.  But in reality, it demonstrates the importance of maximum understanding, maximum effort, and maximum responsibility.  99.9% just isn't good enough for anything that stirs our passions.  So why in the world would followers of Jesus and those collective bodies called churches settle for 99.9% or less?

British writer and scholar Isaac D'Israeli once wrote, "It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us."  Perhaps that one reason so many churches struggle today.  Members settle for mediocrity while those outside the church look for excellence.  No one achieves or maintains excellence by setting the standards lower.  Many people and organizations feel that they're doing okay as long as they get somewhere near the goal.  When you get to that point, excellence is reduced to acceptable and before you know it, acceptable has given way to adequate.  At that point, mediocrity lies just around the corner.

As the collective Body of Christ and individual members of it, we have a responsibility to strive for excellence in whatever we do.  Providing nursery facilities, clean restrooms, high quality teachers, good music, relevant preaching, community service . . . whatever we do, we must strive to do it with excellence. Not only will it attract those who are seeking high quality spiritual care, it honors God!  Paul reminded the Colossian Church in Colossians 3:17, ". . .whatever you do in word or deed, do it all to the glory of God."  In his letter to the church at Corinth, he wrote, ". . . whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God."  (I Corinthians 10:31) 

God doesn't want our second best and a world seeking hope and help shouldn't settle for second best.  The responsibility lies on us as those who represent Jesus.  So make the sacrifices, do the work, take the risks, learn from the failures, and strive for excellence in everything you do as you serve the Lord.  HE certainly deserves and expects 100%.

See also Ecclesiastes 9:10, Malachi 1-4