“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.” — Philippians 1:21-23
Josiah Wedgewood was the founder of one of the world’s finest pottery businesses. It was his practice to walk through his plant carrying a little hammer. Whenever he detected the slightest defect in any of his earthenware, he would break it and shout, “Only the best is worthy of the name of Wedgewood.” That is why his china has maintained the reputation of being among the world’s finest.
Have you ever considered what it means to be called “Christian?” It means that we are being called by the name “Christ.” What a privilege! But are we worthy?
“Often individuals find fault with the way some who are called “Christian” behave. It is not that those in question “believe” wrong, it is simply that they do not “behave” right. It is an observation about how they live and what they do. The world finds no fault with Christ, but has difficulty understanding why those who represent Him do not live as they are expected to. Maybe that is why many do not turn to Him in repentance and faith. Too many of those who claim His name find it easier to “talk” as He did than to “walk” as He walked.
As Paul wrote to the Philippians he spoke of giving his best. There were three keys to this excellence that Paul was describing. The first key was that he had a single passion: “For to me, living means living for Christ.” Christ acknowledged, Christ served, and Christ glorified was what drove and consumed Paul.
A second key to excellence in Paul’s life was his selfless purpose. All he could think about was what would be best for THEM…not him. Paul was consumed with the needs of others and what was best for them.
A third key to excellence in Paul’s life was his simple plan for life. He kept his eye on the “end-game.” Circumstances and suffering could not distract him because he kept his eye on the prize: “I long to go and be with Christ.”
Will you and I be satisfied with mediocre or will we strive for excellence? When it comes to your relationship and service of Jesus Christ, will only the best do? I challenge you to unlock the excellence that God has called you to with the keys of single passion, selfless purpose and a simple plan. Don’t just “settle” in your life….succeed!