Saturday, December 3, 2016

Weakness OR power?

We must be careful not to have an "either or" mindset when is comes to weakness (humility) and power e.g. humility does not negate the importance of excellence of execution. It only addresses the disposition (motive) by which execution is carried out. Excellence in execution should always be the manner in which we seek to honor (bring glory to) God. In fact it is a significant part of how we do so.

Many Christians exercise a false humility as an excuse to not pursue excellence. As a result many things "Christian" are often of inferior quality. I know because I used to think this way. I took the attitude, "God loves me no matter what, so the quality of my work or the diligence of my effort doesn't matter." In one sense this is true. As far as God's love for us, it does not matter. His love is based on the work of Christ not on ours. But as far as our experiencing all that God has for us, all he designed us to be and bringing him the greatest glory possible, it matters completely. 

How can doing things with less than excellence honor God? 


How many times have we heard (or felt ourselves) regarding a "Christian" enterprise, such as a movie or song, that this is a "typical" production by Christians i.e. implying it's inferior (not in substance of message but in presentation or form) to what non believers produce.

This has not always been the case. Think of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach or Michelangelo or some of the earliest higher learning institutions such as Harvard and Yale. These were produced or founded by believers out of a desire to honor God through diligent use of the gifts of God to produce something excellent for his glory. 

Paul gives us an example of how we are to go about things. 


Col 1:29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. 

We are also told that whether we eat, drink or whatever we do, do all to the glory of God 1Co 10:31I take that to mean do it not just with the intent to point others to him but with the effort necessary to produce the best possible result for his honor. This says efforts that are driven by a desire to honor God are superior to efforts seeking to exalt self i.e. God is superior to self.

If we have to choose between operating with humility and operating with excellence the former is always our choice. No amount of excellence in itself will bring honor to God (at least not deliberately by the producer). But if we can operate with both humility (1st) and excellence as a fruit of humility, that is the preferred option and should always be our ultimate desire and intent.



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Grace to you
Jim Deal