The Menace of Mediocrity

We have a tendency to think that our greatest challenges in life come from the world around us. Not true! The greatest challenges in life are to be found within us. Within every child of God there rages a constant battle between the old nature of sin, self-absorption and self-protection and the new nature of Christlikeness. To be sure, one of the greatest challenges in the life of a Christian is to overcome the menace of mediocrity.

Sadly, many Christians never win this battle and, as a result, live only a fraction of the life God designed for them.

I like to define the word mediocrity as muddling around on the mudflats of life. Mediocrity is a region bound on the north by neglect, the south by sloth, the east by ease and the west by worry. Mediocrity is the mark of the person who settles for less than God’s best.

It is the person who is careening through life from wall to wall when he has been created to soar as we read in Isaiah 40:31, “But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Mediocrity is waiting for your ship to come in instead of swimming out to meet it. Mediocrity is trying to steal second base with one foot still on first. Mediocrity is trading a life of activity for a life of ease. As bad as mediocrity is in the life of the believer, there is however one thing that is good about it. Mediocrity is a choice, and the choice is always yours. You can choose to live a life of mediocrity or you can choose to live a life of excellence. So which one do you choose? What does the confession of your life currently say?

You have chosen a life of excellence when you have made the decision to give 100 percent in all you do. When you give 100 percent, you give your best and your best is all God will ever ask of you. To be sure, your best may not be good enough in the eyes of man when it comes to a particular task, job or activity. But it is always good enough for God.

In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'”

God knows when you are doing your best and giving your all. At this level of living you have overcome the menace of mediocrity and are intentional about living a life of mastery for the Master.

Jesus lived a life of excellence. He overcame the menace of mediocrity, because He refused to give less than His best. To do anything less than the will of His Father in heaven was simply unacceptable. In service to mankind, Jesus gave His best. In shepherding His disciples, Jesus gave His best. In spiritual battle with Satan, Jesus gave His best. In silence before Pilate, Jesus gave His best. In subjection to the Sanhedrin, Jesus gave His best. In suffering, sin-bearing and His sacrificial death on the cross on Golgotha’s Hill, Jesus gave His best. And He is calling you to give your best too.

It is important to note that living a life of Christian excellence and giving your best is not and never will be perfection. The only perfect person to walk the face of this earth was Jesus, and your perfection will not come until you reach the other side of the grave. Until then, you will do everything imperfectly. You will…


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