Here is a quotation from Chip Crush that might peak your thinking, regarding the word MEDIOCRITY:
“It’s not that mediocrity is bad; rather striving [my wife likes “settling”] for mediocrity is the fault”.
Webster’s Dictionary says Mediocrity is; “of moderate or low quality, ordinary, so-so”. I know some people who read this blog regarding MEDIOCRITY, will look at Webster’s definition and say, “What’s wrong with being an ordinary Christian?” Is being “ordinary” really a bad trait in a Christian”s life?
I’m not much into popular music these days. The music that I listen to the most is from CD’s I’ve collected over the years and, I like all types of music for the most part. I ran across a song the other day by group called Matchbox 20; a song titled “HANG”. The tune was ‘catchy’ but the lyrics made me scratch my head just a bit. Is there a theme or verse I could use regarding mediocrity? I’ll give you one verse and let you decide what the world is saying to those who are willing to listen and believe what they hear.
“HANG” by Matchbox 20:
“And we always say, it would be good to go away someday,
But if there’s nothing there to make things change, If it’s the same for you,
I’ll just hang.”
My mother used to tell me, “If you see someone jump into a fire, would you do the same?” NO, I would “just hang”.
“Coram Deo” is Latin for, “Before God”. As believers in Jesus Christ, whatever we do, NOT just on Sundays, is Coram Deo; Before God. What comes out of our mouths, how we act is seen and noticed.
After I graduated from high school in San Diego, my mom and dad sat me down at the kitchen table one day. They proceeded to tell me, now that you have graduated from high school and planning to go to college, a reformation was going to take place. Get a job, and pay rent; fifty dollars per month [hey, it was 1959!]. In turn, I would receive room and board which included mom doing my laundry too. Now to a 17-year-old, who had no clue what real life was about, immediately proceeded to go into shock. Three months later I had my first REAL job, registering at San Diego State University and starting my brand new “real” job as a “box boy” aka “courtesy clerk, on the same day! Those experiences alone began my journey towards independence and the unknown. I was “waking up to smell the roses” for the first time in my life. And now looking back on my experiences, “And I thought life was tough at 17”.
Someone is Watching:
My dad explained to me, if I was to keep my job and my boss’s approval, never be idle on the job. I was to find things to do even if there wasn’t anything to do. If the floor needed to be swept, don’t ask the boss if you should sweep the floor, just do it! This statement was long before a tennis shoe company used the same terms. “What if the floor had just been swept”, I asked? My dad’s answer, “Sweep it again. Somebody is watching you and they will appreciate your hard work.” Looking back on my dad’s wisdom, his telling me to work and live above the common, ordinary, commonplace, characterless, colorless surroundings would benefit me in the long run. If you don’t do, you become “mediocre”. My dad’s words about being mediocre have stuck with me all my working life and today, in my Christian life.
What Does “Abba-Father” Say to Us About MEDIOCRITY”; Does He Notice?
II Timothy 4:6-8 says,
“For I am already about to be sacrificed [my life is about to be poured out as a drink offering]; the time of my [spirit’s] release [from the body] is at hand and I will soon go free.”
“I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.”
Anyone who thinks that the Apostle Paul lived in mediocrity can see in verse 7, that wasn’t who Paul was. This past Sunday, our Pastor continued his summer series on “The Matters of the HEART”. He spoke about our CHARACTER and defined it by saying, “Character is the will to do what’s right as God defines right, regardless of the cost!” I would add “What is right” is what God’s Word says is right. It’s not what I feel is right based on “stuff”. Dr. Creflo Dollar says, “when you do right because of what’s right you will prosper and prosper others”. NO MEDIOCRITY HERE! He continued with this phrase on CHARACTER: “You will never rise above your limitations of your character.”
II Timothy continues in verse 8:
“[As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for be right with God and DOING RIGHT], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day–and not to me only, but also to ALL THOSE who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).”
Do you see a life of mediocrity in verse 8 into Paul’s character? That is a rhetorical question. “Yeah, but I’m not Paul” you might be thinking. If that is what you are thinking, then it is you who are living in mediocrity. Make it personal, I personally have done so before. And YES, our Father does notice how we are living around others.
Staying out of MEDIOCRITY; Changes in your desires:
What would you say to a fellow believer, if he or she gave an answer to this question, “What type of Christian would you call yourself? After a long wait, the answer was, “I am just an ordinary Christian. Like everyone else I guess”. According to Webster’s definition that would be “mediocre”.
Turn to Romans 15:14-33 and read first, then let’s go back and underline or write down some important keys Paul gives in staying out of MEDIOCRITY.
1. Being rich in goodness towards others. (verse 14)
2. Amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge. (verse 14)
3. Being competent to admonish, counsel, instruct one another. (verse 14)
4. Winning obedience from the unbelievers by your word and deed—CHARACTER. (verse 18)
5. Fully preach the Gospel [faithfully executing, accomplishing, carrying out to the full the good news] of Christ in its entirety. (verse 19)
6. An ambition to preach the Gospel, not where Christ’s name was already known. (verse 20) NO MEDIOCRITY in that ambition!
7. Giving to the less fortunate among believers. (verse 26)
8. Wrestling in prayer–fervent, boiling over, type prayers. (verse 30, JAMES 5:16)
There was 8 Keys to getting out of mediocrity as a Christian. See if you can go through the verses and list some other keys if you are willing and able.
You Need A Different or Changed Attitude to see RESULTS:
Romans 12:1-2 “I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [ALL] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”
Two of the most important steps that you can take in life are:
1. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior of your life.
2. The Renewal of your mind [a new attitude with new desires].
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], BUT be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
Almost every morning when I open my eyes, I first thank my Father for giving me another day. Then I ask for a renewal of my mind for that day; a new attitude TOWARDS OTHERS who aren’t always “lovely” in my life and I am not always lovely either.
God’s Word Always Lifts You Above Mediocrity:
“I don’t always have time to read in my Bible in the morning”. With excuses like, “I slept in this morning, I don’t feel good, the kids are driving me nuts, I’m just to busy…I’ll read when I get home”. Those are excuses and they will keep you in a life of MEDIOCRITY. As Paul tells Timothy, there is a victor’s crown waiting for us someday and the Lord is watching our lives in Christ Jesus.
Joshua 1:8 encourages us and gives us a promise:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”
You cannot and will not live in Mediocrity if you obey that quoted verse!