“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” — Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers
Commitment to excellence in life is an absolute necessity for Christians if we are to do our best in serving the Lord. Otherwise, we are living by the principle that second best is good enough for God. Who among us is ready to consciously assert such a thing?
Paul, writing to his young companion Timothy, urged him to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:11–12). Serving God can’t be approached with a lukewarm, apathetic attitude, which allows us to put before him the dregs from the bottom of life’s cup. The principle of the Old Testament was that of “first fruits,” giving the very best one had to give.
This attitude is encouraged in a familiar song: “Give of your best to the Master/ Give him first place in your heart/ Give him first place in your service/ Consecrate every part./ Give, and you shall be given/ God his beloved Son gave/ Gratefully seeking to serve him/ Give him the best that you have.”
Christians are asked by Jesus to “be perfect ... as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Could there be any higher, more challenging or worthwhile goal for our daily efforts to serve God? And if we are discouraged because we are afraid we don’t have the ability to do what God wants us to do, remember the words of the apostle Peter: “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
Whether you’re building a barn or a skyscraper, do the very best you can. One of the keys is remembering for whom you’re working.
John’s little girl, Rene, wanted him to build a doll house for her. She had shown him one at the toy store — the finest one they had. It cost more than he could afford, but he promised he would build one just like it. As he worked on it, little Rene would come and watch, her eyes getting bigger every time a tiny piece was added. When the work was done, John’s little girl proudly showed it to all her friends with the words, “My daddy built it just for me!”
Do you think John was careless as he glued and tacked each piece in place? Neither do I. John loves his little girl and was determined to do his best for her. If you’re a Christian, do you think we should do any less for our Lord?