And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Last week, I ran across a golf page posing the hypothetical question whether you would the chance to win one million dollars or risk one year in jail to make a hole in one if given 1,000 balls. One has the (false) hope of getting the ace given the fact he or she would have 1,000 chances to hit just one perfect shot. We probably wouldn’t consider all of the 150 yard shots we have hit in our golf careers which have not resulted in going straight to the next hole without having to chip or putt. Some golfers know the feeling of the hole in one because of its sheer seemingly impossibility. It is never expected. We are usually elated and satisfied with “just close enough.” However, when we are given the chance for worldly riches, our mind gives us a false hope.
Often, I find myself satisfied with “close enough” or “good enough.” The extra effort for perfection is elusive. This quest, however, is what made Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant who they were. Many of us have the talent, but lack the desire. Maybe it is because we don’t have a promise of monetary reward or the feeling of dire consequences of anything less.
We strive for beauty and perfection when we know we will be imminently judged on our perfection or the appearance thereof. We have cleaner houses when we expect company, clean up our cars when someone is carpooling with us, and wear different attire to suit the event. Any other time, “good enough” is just that – “good enough.”
We should always strive for perfection in our spiritual affairs. If we teach a Sunday school class, we should prepare ourselves as if an embodied Jesus will be in attendance. If we preach, we should proclaim the Word of God as if we might never step behind the pulpit again.
The standards of men are not equal to the bar set by Christ. He lived His life to perfection, which enabled His sacrifice to be likewise spotless. Similarly, our efforts will never result in His satisfaction if our actions are not “heartily” performed. Paul preached that we should have our actions “heartily” centered on Christ and not the standards set by man or the world. Through Christ we experienced a perfected “rebirth” and therefore enabled with a Spirit desiring His standard. We will never attain perfection on this earth, but this fact should not prevent us from this striving.
Even though our soul is perfected, our flesh is still lost and suffers from a “manly fear” that opposes godliness. As much as we may strive for holiness, we have internal and external oppositions hindering our actions and mentality. When we “heartily” act for the advancement of His kingdom, we realize this standard is directly opposed to the bar set by society. It isn’t judged by numbers, amounts or recognition by man. In 2 Peter 3:11, we are forewarned that, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” Notice that all the things of man will be no longer. We are to desire holiness in both our walk and talk. Let us be mindful of what we desire today. Further, consider just for today what would remain from our thoughts and actions if all the things of man were forgotten.