Years ago, a researcher named Natalie Gabal did a little research to determine what would happen if 99.9% were “good enough.” IF that were true, then in any given year, the following would happen: the IRS would lose 2 million documents, 12 newborns would be given to the wrong parents, 291 pacemaker implants would be performed incorrectly, 20,000 medical prescriptions would be filled incorrectly, and 114,ooo mismatched pairs of shoes would be shipped to your favorite stores. Now that might not sound so bad unless YOU get the wrong prescription or the wrong baby or a botched pacemaker implant or an audit from the IRS. (Swindoll, The Finishing Touch, Word Publishing, 1994, p. 38)
Isaac D’Israeli once wrote “. . . it is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.“ Perhaps that’s one of the reasons churches and Christians struggle. We’ve settled for mediocrity while those outside of the Body of Christ are searching for excellence. No one achieves or maintains excellence by setting their standards lower. Most people and some organizations feel that they’re doing OK as long as they get somewhere close to a goal. But, when you get to that point, excellence is reduced to “acceptable” and before you realize it, acceptable gives way to “adequate.” At that point, mediocrity waits just around the corner.
As Christians and the Body of Christ, we have a responsibility to strive for excellence in whatever we do. In Colossians 3:17, Paul wrote, “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Since the sin of Cain, it has been obvious that God does not want “good enough.” He demands our best. Our best efforts, our best behavior, our best attitudes. Whether we are at church, at home, or on the job, we are to live in such a way that God is glorified. Whatever we do, we must strive for excellence, not to promote ourselves, but to bring attention to the God we serve.
99.9% submission is not good enough. God wants us “all in,” holding nothing back. So make the sacrifices, do the work, take the risks, learn from failures and strive for excellence in everything you do. You might be amazed at how God uses YOU to change the world.