By Pastor Mark S. Erskine
When we purchased our first home in Cherry Valley, Ohio, we understood that our first project would be to replace the roof. Thankfully in our family, when a family member has a project, we know that we can count on other family members to help complete the job. Since Uncle Fred has the most experience with roofing, he headed up the task. I was laying shingles when I heard someone say, “Hey Fred! These shingles aren’t lining up!” As Uncle Fred was going to see about the problem, with a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye, he said, “It’s good enough for who it’s for!”
Now he didn’t mean what he said; he was just having fun at my expense. But sometimes I wonder if I live my life as a Christian that way.
When we become impatient because traffic isn’t moving quickly and we “lay on the horn,” is that good enough for who it’s for? When the person in front of you in the checkout line has more coupons than they have groceries and you just want to get home, so you sigh really loudly, act especially annoyed or maybe verbalize your frustration loud enough for everyone around you to hear, is that good enough for who it’s for? How about when we are running a few minutes late for work and we slip in hoping the boss doesn’t notice, or we do our job with mediocrity because it’s just a paycheck? Is that good enough for who it’s for?
Lest you think I’m being harsh, remember the thought: Sometimes I wonder if I live my Christian life this way.
My focus is self-examination. “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” (Colossians 3:23-24). As a Christian, if everything I do is to serve the Lord Christ, can I afford to ever think about anything in my life as, “It’s good enough for who it’s for?” We need to ask ourselves the question, “Would I do this differently if I were doing it for Christ?”
I am not being radical in my interpretation of this passage. Paul writes in the preceding verse, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it not only when their eye is on you to win their favor, but sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
Paul was speaking to slaves about how they should view what they did for their masters. We are not slaves to anything unless we choose to be. Therefore, mediocrity in my life should not be an option. Mediocrity in my life is like a cancer to my spiritual soul. It starts small but it grows quickly and aggressively.
Beware of mediocrity in relationships. Could it be that those we love the most are the ones we are taking for granted? Maybe we should take the time during Lent to let them know how much they mean to us. What about our relationship to God? Are we taking the time we should to develop a deeper relationship with Him, or is that relationship “good enough for who’s it’s for?”
I have challenged my church to a time of fasting and prayer.
During Lent, we are focusing on the condition of our personal relationship with God; the condition of our own soul.
I would like to challenge you during this Lenten season to pray for the condition of your soul. What will we find?
We cannot expect to influence those around us if we are content with mediocrity in ourselves, unless our goal is mediocrity. Hopefully we would never pray, “O God, help me be mediocre.”
Let’s pray as David did in Psalm 139:23: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me.”
What will God reveal to us if we pray this?
Mark S. Erskine is pastor of Grove City Church of the Nazarene.