April 6, 2011

Mediocrity is a choice

When we choose pride, we choose mediocrity. When we control things, we choose mediocrity. When we fail to trust God, we choose mediocrity.

You have a choice on what time you wake up in the morning. You have a choice of whether or not you are going to spend time with the Lord. You have a choice on how you will spend your money. Will you over spend, or spend within your budget?

You have a choice to help someone. You have a choice to focus on yourself. You have a choice to stand up and say what needs to be said. You have a choice to sit back and do nothing.

You have a choice.

But this is something we miss.

See your character is not defined by the mistakes you make, but how you move forward when you make them. Do you learn from them? Have you changed your course and ‘repented’? [I know that word is hard to hear]

I know this sounds crazy but God does not expect you to do everything perfectly, even in Christ. He knows you will make mistakes. That is why there is grace. Now… He doesn’t want us to take advantage of it and sin intentionally. But for when we do and will fail, there is grace.

Pride causes mediocrity because you are always internalizing your actions. Judging yourself. Afraid that your pride will be found out. As a result, you will judge others of their pride while failing to deal with your own. It is a coping mechanism. The thing you are battling with internally is viewed in light of others and it allows you to cope with, rather than deal with, your problems.

The result is someone that never steps out of the boat.

Afraid of what people might think. Afraid of what people might say. It stops us from achieving the greatness we are capable of. There is no fear in love, but there is fear with pride.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

God gives us grace through Jesus Christ for many reasons. One, we all need it. Two, so we can not only be forgiven but forgive others. [If you can’t forgive someone you have pride issues my friend] Three, so we can go conquer.

God doesn’t want a bunch of cowards that won’t step out in faith. And He knows that when you step out you will make mistakes. That is why there is grace. In Christ we are more than conquerers [Romans 8:37] and there is grace so that we can be that. Consider Peter in the Bible. He made many mistakes, but he wasn’t afraid of what people thought and he was willing to step out of the boat. Eventually he became a pillar of the early church and his mistakes prepared him to have the grace to lead others.

What does that look like practically?

Dude, man up.

Go out there. Take that mission trip, reach out to someone in need, speak boldly the truth of Scripture and how it applies to everyday life. Apply it to culture. The hardest part to speaking truth is applying it to the culture you live in. We lose the battle at the gates of culture.

A good way to measure your pride is your fear to make mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong, you should fear the Lord. You should follow His commands and obey everything the Holy Spirit tells you to do. But fearing failure is not from God.

Fearing failure is your pride.

The positive ending [which we all need] is that an understanding of grace not only propels you to risk your life for the Gospel it gives you the strength to get back up again when you fall, and to forgive others when they sin against you.

The inability to forgive is your pride.

Let go of the false humility. It is prevalent. Your “bro” in that affeminent tone of voice isn’t going to cover your love of self. Just go do what Jesus said to do and give yourself grace for the journey.

Others need it as well.

– Article contributed by Matt Cote. Director of Marketing and Operations for the Master’s Men.