Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer reflections...#1...

I've got a summer idea!

My last blog was about looking back over some of my earlier blogs, and being blessed as I re-read some I had already forgotten...

So... during the summer, I'm going to re-post some of my old blogs that are still grabbing my attention and maybe they will be a blessing or an encouragement to you too.

Here's #1...

A few words on Mediocrity...

We honestly do live in a world that seems to be content with mediocrity... 'Give it a shot', and 'let the chips fall where they may'... I'm not talking about those who sincerely do their best, waking up every morning committed to doing and being all that God wants for them to be... We know those people, they stand out!

The huge crowd that does NOT stand out is the crowd of mediocrity. Mediocrity tells us to 'settle for the average, don't reach higher and demand more of yourself'... mediocrity does not seek first doing it God's way.

These things I know......

God is not lazy...
God is not careless...
God is not sloppy...
God does not procrastinate...
God doesn't makes excuses......
God doesn't do a job half-way...
God does not bow to the crowd...
God doesn't alter His words according to who He is with...

You get the idea... our standard as His children is such that the bar can't ever be raised higher than who He is and what He has said. His life is perfect!

In our culture today, excellence is not the bottom line goal.

Usually it's about money, or fame, or power. Lots of the heroes that we have elevated are unworthy of the title. Many of them are lost on the inside and riding along on a wave that will crash at some point, UNLESS... their faith is in the God who changes lives.

I'm pretty sure that mediocrity is one of the biggest tools in satan's toolbox...

'Just do the job, it doesn't have to be great, just get through it' ...
or 'say just enough in a conversation so you don't ruffle anyone's feathers, especially when you are talking about Jesus.'...
or 'get out the magazine you've been eyeballing, you know your quiet time can wait, maybe till later when you're more 'focused'...

Mediocrity is full of excuses!

Excellence goes after whatever the task at hand is, wanting it to be your best effort!...

HE stopped at nothing, including the cross, to be sure it was all done right. He wants and expects us to give Him our very best.... and He deserves nothing less!

I always cringe at the verse that says "Because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth"... There have been many many times when I know I have deserved to be 'spit out of His mouth!'...

I know how easy it is to be lukewarm... mediocre. And NO... I refuse to settle for mediocrity in my life! When I give Him my best.... not only is He pleased... but I am happy and blessed in my own heart.

Obedience to God's standard of excellence brings about the very peace of God that we so desire. He knows we aren't going to be perfect, but He expects us to give Him our best, our willingness, our obedience to do it HIS way... not the way of mediocrity!...


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism." (NIV)"Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work." (Col.3:22-25 MSG)

18 comments:

Debbie said...

Oh Sonja I can see why you would repost this! What great words of wisdom! Soo true, and so convicting. It really does seem to be the way we think sometimes unfornately. But it is not what I want and not what I desire. This has really made me think this morning!

Enjoy your week-end!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I recently read these words from one of my favorite authors, Alicia Chole. She was writing on the parable of the seeds. I thought about these lines while reading your post:

"It seems that from Satan's perspective, the next best thing to spiritual death is spiritual barrenness. In other words, if Satan cannot succeed in his Plan A of taking your soul to hell with him, Plan B is to ensure that you do not take anyone else's soul to heaven with you. 'Steal them or sterilize them,' might be the kingdom of darkness' brutally efficient mission statement."

Mediocrity is a weapon in Satan's hands. A Plan B that is certain to sterilize us from God's best.

A good challenge to us all, Sonja. God's blessing upon you as you endeavor to give your best to the kingdom this weekend.

peace~elaine

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

This is a piece I need to read over and over again, and has been part of conversation in our home. Recently the Tiger Mom book, no I haven't read it, but I hear that behind it is the desire for excellence, yes what the world would say, but there is a truth to that.

I felt the word "whatever" brought in a new outlook on life and that wasn't good.

I am printing this off...because before I can say anything I need to remove the board in my own eye.

Shirley said...

This is so easy to fall into!

Just Be Real said...

Sonja thank you as always for such great posts of insight. Blessings to you dear one.

Farm Girl said...

I still cringe about that verse too. I have never wanted to be that luke warm Christian.
This is very good, I never wanted to settle for mediocrity either.
This is wonderful. I am glad you are reissuing your blogs that I have never read before, it is all new to me.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Thanks for reposting this, I didn't see it the first go around. Such truth and inspiration. Blessings!

manthano said...

Appreciate the repost.

That "lukewarm" thought is enough
to scare anyone.

Thanks

Sarah (Nikki) said...

what you wrote is powerful....and true. Glad you reposted

Debbie said...

First things first: I love your idea for the summer. You had been blogging before I "met" you so it will all probably be new to me. I like it when stuff worth repeating gets repeated.

I might copy you in fact. It seems to me that it would be a great way to jump start the blog engines on a cold bloggy morning.

As for THIS post, you hit on one of my hot button (and I do mean hot button) topics, and I feel the way that I do for the very reasons that you do.

I call it minimalism, and I think not giving your very best and doing your work "heartily" is in direct defiance of God's Word.

When I taught in the Christian school, I had Col. 3:23 on a huge banner across my wall and required the students to write it at the top of every paper. When my first class graduated, the valedictorian used it as the theme for his address and gave me a shout out. I still count it as one of God's very special blessings to me.

Anyway, longwinded as usual. GREAT POST (also, as usual.)

Debbie said...

Good heavens... I'm embarrassed.

Debbie said...

Oh yes, striving for excellence no matter what we do. I often think of the Scripture verse about working as unto the Lord, especially when I sweep tables after lunch at our school or cleaning the toilets at our home. Great words of advice for all Sonja!

Love,
Debbie

Deborah Ann said...

Reposting - what a great idea! This is a great lesson. Anytime we're lazy or judgmental or bitter...just to remember that those are not God's ways...that really hits me!

Vee said...

One can say "amen" or "oh me." Sigh.

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
First and foremost, thanks for all your prayers. They are being heard,the Lord is leading us step by step, day by day.
I guess this is also one of the Lord's way of keeping us warm, holding us close to him in times of need. Serina says, Grandmom is still teaching me things by just being there, being her brave self.
Grace upon grace.
I can clearly see how easy I can fall down to being luke warm, al the time.
Was it not you who wrote, "God loves us just the way we are, but too much to let us stay this way."
I'm glad you are my sister, and you know, I'm sending prayers the other way too, whenever I am prompted to do so.
Yours Felisol

myletterstoemily said...

mediocrity must be from the devil,
because it is SO easy to fall into it.
thank you for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

You've just challenged me in my writing...not to be mediocre...not to rush to finish.
BTW...your comment on my post tonight "stuck."
Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement.

Melanie Dorsey said...

That "anonymous" comment above is from me.