I can remember as a young boy looking at a popular department store catalog and seeing ads for merchandise that offered three buying options; Good, Better, and Best. The understanding was, if the quality rose the price would rise as well. Even at an early age I knew that I wanted the Best. Why settle for something that wasn’t as good as it gets. I believe it was during the time period of that realization that I first understood that everything wasn’t the Best, and excellence wasn’t guaranteed. Once there was a delineation I immediately gravitated towards excellence; wouldn’t we all? Of course there’s always the question, is it really better? How much is truth and how much is simply good marketing?
In looking back at my own life it’s easy to see the areas of my productivity where I finished something too soon, stopping just short of making whatever it was the best that it could be. This happened in my songwriting and other creative endeavors as well as some of my relationships. It’s almost as if I said, “That’s all I got,” when in fact, and because of Jesus, I had so much more. I know it was also the lure of what was next on the agenda, looking ahead to that next thing that I was ready to get busy on. I was like a horse at the gate, ready to get going, no longer concerned with what I was leaving behind or the fact that what I had been working on wasn’t yet fully cooked.
Because of our human nature we quickly learn how to settle instead of reaching for the best. We often wind up with less, not realizing that in our haste we may have left something unfinished that could have been great had we put more time into it and treated it as something worthy of all we had. This is true in every area of our lives. Things as practical as our purchases and way more important, like our calling, mission, and legacy. If we had just reached a bit higher we would have achieved results that spoke of excellence and not mediocrity. Doesn’t God deserve our very best? The truth is He does, and He has given each of us the tools to equip ourselves for delivering exactly that.
And how about our faith? The Word tells us to study to show ourselves approved and to be like the Bereans, who daily searched the Word looking for truth. Why do you think that is? Knowledge for knowledge’s sake? No. It’s way more important than that and can be summed up in one word: application. Knowledge fueled by the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to carry out our mission on earth. It gives us the ability to close the loop on what we started, knowing that we completed that assignment having given God and others our very best.
Good enough may get you through the door of completion, but it won’t be enough to get you through the door of highest opportunity.
There was a time in my life where quantity was competing with quality in a dangerous way. Volume was sometimes valued more than holding to a high standard that didn’t allow for finishing early. Good enough may get you through the door of completion, but it won’t be enough to get you through the door of highest opportunity. Proverbs 22:29 says, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” This is not about climbing a corporate ladder, it’s about reaching the heights God has ordained for each of us to finish the race well. Philippians 3:14 makes it clear, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Recalibrate yourself to leave “good enough” behind and adopt a strong posture of upward thinking. Figuratively speaking, if you are going to die on a hill, may it be a majestic mountain that taught you new things and will beckon you back, not that familiar low berm where average is widely celebrated. Drink in greatness and greatness will ooze out of you in every area of life. You can do it, because He said you can! Push your Good to Better and your better to Best in everything you do. Be all that God wants you to be and know that the greatest joy will come from knowing that you gave God your absolute best over and over again.