When Good Jacks You Up

quote-jim-collins2

I do not know why I’ve been thinking about this quote by Jim Collins so much. It’s from his book Good to Great. I hear it’s an amazing book. I’m still waiting on the movie. I like watching movies way better than reading books.

The quote is so true. In life it is easy to say, “This is good enough.” It is often the fact that we settled for good enough that separates us from greatness. Right?

I agree with that in the work-force, and or the Star Wars Force. In work good is settling when you could be great. In Star Wars good can get you killed.

My buddy Dan says, “There comes a point in every job where you have to say that’s good enough.” I agree. I just think that some people come to that point way too early.

Case in point…

Fail pic 1Or…

Fail pic 2Or…

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Or…

Fail pic 4Or…

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Or…

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This is just unexceptable!

Or…

Fail pic 7You see what I mean? I think these people stopped way early in the “That’s good enough” process.

So “Good is the enemy of great.” I agree.

Now I previously wrote that I’ve been thinking about this quote. Specifically I’ve been thinking about how it plays out in a relationship with God.

On the one hand I think that people settle with “That’s good enough” with their relationship with God. As long as we know someone who is more of a pagan than we are then we feel good about our spiritual life. We think things like “I’m a good person. Sure I could be better but at least I’m not as bad as _____.”

That’s bad.

I think that God deserves our best. I think we should strive for greatness.

Grace though says that even when we settle for good we are great in God’s eyes. In fact even when we settle for sin we are loved by God. God doesn’t love us more when we do great and He doesn’t love us less when we do bad. God loves us period with a !

So it’s easy to settle to just be good. God will love us no matter what right?

Here is what I strive for that helps me keep a healthy balance.

I don’t do good things for God to change God’s perspective of me. I do good things for God to change my perspective of Him.

I can’t change God’s perspective once I am a Christian. He sees me as He sees His son, Jesus. I can’t make God love me more or less.

So doing good works for God changes me. It changes how I view God. It helps me feel like I’m a part of His team. It allows me to feel the honor of serving Him. As I do good for God I relate to the goodness that He’s done for me. I find joy in serving others. I become humble because it’s honoring that God would use a messed up joker like me.

Good is the enemy of great. We should strive for greatness. We should not settle for good enough. At the same time we should not think that God likes us more when we are great or less when we are not.

Have you read “Good to Great?” What are some jobs that you settle for “Good enough?” How does doing your best for God change your perspective of Him?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

14 Comments

  1. April 24, 2014

    There is a corollary statement that I use at work often, “Better is the enemy of good enough”. Sometimes we take things well beyond where they need to be and in so doing we waste our time, we miss deadlines, we expend unnecessary energy, …. The photos on this one were really funny.

    Reply
    • April 24, 2014

      Daniel, great point! I do think that meeting deadlines is a part of being great. It will never be perfect but work at it with passion, and strive for excellence and then let it go. Thanks for the comment. You should read the book and let me know how it is.

      Reply
  2. DP
    April 24, 2014

    I like Daniel’s work statement and that’s often how I feel. Something will never be perfect but I sometimes want it to be and spend far too much effort when good is acceptable and I should move on.

    I have not read the book… Maybe I should but I don’t like the title. To be great is a funny thing that seems subjective and perhaps a poor thing to strive after, to me. A lifetime could be squandered chasing great when perhaps a great life is already at hand and can be had by simply doing the ordinary well while striving to better oneself and finding contentment in life. My feeling is one should be willing to step into greatness should it present itself, but dwelling too much on it is bound to lead to discontentment.

    None of what I said necessarily applies to this post or the Christian walk… But maybe it does.

    My point is only that something that everyone would look at and say is greatness is rare… If it wasn’t it wouldn’t be great and perhaps a life well lived is a more worthy pursuit.

    Reply
    • DP
      April 24, 2014

      Or maybe my aversion is personal since I feel I have fallen so far short of “greatness” I once chased.

      Not sure, but thanks for the post… The self reflection is good.

      Reply
    • April 24, 2014

      DP, I hear that for sure. I think for perfectionists “good enough” needs to be said often. The perfectionists I know spend a ton of time fretting and thinking and tinkering and it takes forever and it’s still not done. I haven’t read the book but I think he’s pushing us to do our best and not half but it. I see that a lot in the church world. No church is perfect but some wouldn’t know a standard of excellence if it slapped them in the face. Now I want to read this book. It’s one that’s been on my list. I often settle for good enough when it comes to reading books. I’d much rather watch the movie.

      Reply
  3. April 24, 2014

    I’ve owned this book for ten years. It’s a good book. It minds its own business. It has never tripped me. It’s not loud. It’s doesn’t shed.

    But I’ve never read it, so I don’t know if it’s great.

    Reply
    • April 24, 2014

      Ricky, sounds like Good to Great is an amazing pet.

      Reply
  4. jebatthebeach
    April 24, 2014

    I’ve not read it. I tend to do the “good enough” thing with myself like, “my hair’s good enough”, “this outfit is good enough”, etc.

    Reply
    • April 24, 2014

      Joan, and I think that is a good place to settle for good. I mean even if we tried to look perfect someone would crucify us.

      Reply
  5. Cas
    April 24, 2014

    Rob,
    I am too easily satisfied. I appreciate the themes you have been discussing lately about our prayers, reflecting our faith. “Thanks God, for the food, the day, my health, etc…” I am trying out whispering ‘big’ prayers now.
    Abundent life is what Jesus offers me, and I want it. I just keep putzin around with lesser things. Love the way C.S. Lewis puts it….

    If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. C.S. Lewis

    Reply
    • April 24, 2014

      Cas, amazing comment! I love that quote by C.S. Lewis!

      Reply
  6. Lauren Cory
    April 24, 2014

    Great post. Shared it with my CG today. :)

    Reply
  7. April 24, 2014

    First, I’m about 12 ours late. Yes, I have read the book. I agree and I even am working on a book that touches about this with God.

    Reply

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