Sunday, March 21, 2010

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)


Rita said...

You are right, we live in a world of mediocrity. Such a shame too. Unfortunately, our world of excellence has gone by the way side. Only if we keep our eyes on Him can we be excellent.

Territory Mom said...

I needed this today. Thank you

Debbie Petras said...

Sonja, I so agree with you! My mom used to always quote that verse on whatever you do, do as unto the Lord and I never forgot that.

There is a wonderful book that is geared towards teens called "Do Hard Things" by the Harris twins. I've read excerpts but not the whole book. It is a call to action for teens to not settle for mediocrity. The excitement of the young people reading it encourages me greatly for this next generation.

Love you,

Much4Him said...

Amen Sonja! I need to be more obedient to the Lord and not settle for anything but my best for Him!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

You are so right! I have been doing a sort of self examination to acknowledge areas of my life that are mediocre, and God is showing me many things. I too do not want to be lukewarm. What a great reminder for today! Jackie

Felisol said...

Due to my health, I often have to settle for "good enough" when it comes to practical housework these days, but I don't like it.
As I left home as an 18 yearling my mother sent me with the words you recited, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men".
The words always stood by me, and sometimes stood between me and a tempting carrier.
I am so happy I was equipped with these provisions. It kept me close to God, even if I not can brag of having been eager or burning like I should be.
I had the road map, and that for certain was more than good enough.

LisaShaw said...

Dearest Sonja,

I pray that all is well with you. I appreciate your sharing of such a true and powerful message here as you always do.

My heart is to please the LORD and in doing so I have to operate in a spirit of excellence. Do I fail? YES! There are times when I can get sidetracked but I'm thankful that the Holy Spirit gets me back in step with Him when I do. Amen!

Powerful message and one for this day and hour!

Love and prayers my friend.

Patrinas Pencil said...

Awesome, Sonja! I too never want to be God-spit! Ohhhh may I never be known as a 'mugwamp' sitting on the fence. Fear can do this to me! It causes me to hang back instead of moving forward. But God...He reminds me of my position in Christ! He reminds me of His victory over my fear. He reminds me of His strength in my weakness.... He walks through it with me - He never leaves me - is always standing guard around me....How can I love Him with only a mediocore attitude?? I just Love Him more than anything. He is my Husband ...I am His bride!

Mindfully living for HIm ...expectantly the altar to dance with my King!

Blessings, Sonja

Patrina <")>><
His watchman on the wall

Patrinas Pencil said...

I forgot to say welcome to the Bridge! Thanks for joining. I love that your face graces my place with His love.

Patrina <")>><

Debra said...

Such a timely devotion. I enjoyed this very much. Obedience = peace. Sure makes you think about the unpeaceful world we reside in today, does not seem to be much obedience going on does it? May the Lord help me to be more obedient to His word more and more each and every day.

Sonja, thanks so much for the kind comment you left me this morning. It was an encouragement to me.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Such an important admonishment, Sonja, considering the times we're living in. I have a bit of perfectionism in me, thus pushing me to usually go "over the top" with my efforts at anything (minus the housework); even there, I need to pursue excellence. My "everything" has become God's "everything." Accordingly, he deserves my very best, no matter the task.

Convicting, yet necessary way to begin my week. I need to hear it again...


Anonymous said...

How true! And another thing now is the inability to take responsibility for our actions. Don and I have spoken of this many times. First thing you hear is blame on something or someone else.

myletterstoemily said...

yes, ma'am! and boy did i need to hear that!
i have six days to polish a song into excellence.
for some reason, that makes me dread the
practice of it.

but right now. . . this very minute, i am turning
off my computer and marching to the piano!

have i told you that your nature reminds me of
ruth bell graham, one of my heroes. when she
was MUCH younger, of course!

Deborah Ann said...

My message disappeared! I'll try it again,

Thank you Sonja, for delivering this message in the love of God. I really needed to hear this today, you have no idea!

Denise said...

After a week in Haiti experiencing the extreme of life there - I am overwhelmed by what could be done if we would but live out the Gospel. The talking about it; the singing about it is easy but the living it out - the going and the doing - that is where the sacrifice is.

Mediocrity doesn't sacrifice.


Rose said...

Preach it sister. Amen, amen and amen again. I don't even want to get started on my thank you saying it so well!

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

Yes, we should do all things as if to the Lord .

Just Be Real said...

Amen on your list Sonja. Yep a very complacent world we live in. Everything is "fast food this" "fast whatever" Blessings.

Cindy said...

I love this post. My word for 2010 to focus on is "extraordinary" because I don't want to settle for average, especially as a follower of Christ.

Kathleen said...

I've never been fond of mediocrity. You rightly connect the dots to "standards", because I think a large section of the population have either few of them, or they're very low.

With a standard like Jesus, who can settle for anything less than the Utmost for His Highest?!!

Great post, friend.


Tammy said...

"Do your very best, do it for the Lord" is what I'm always telling my kids.
Come to think of it, my mom use to say the same thing.

love and hugs~Tammy