I guess I am not as smart as Robert Fulghum, because I didn't learn everything I needed to know in Kindergarten; but, I have learned an awful lot since. One of the things I have learned is that "When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done." Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, said, "Emotion is no substitute for action and action is no substitute for production." Talk is cheap and it seems to me that it’s getting cheaper all the time.
There is a premium on being able to get things done, and done well for the honor of Jesus!
We are all aware of the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. With today’s blog and, for the next two, I would like to deal with three Doattitudes. Doing, after all, flows out of being. Our identity in Jesus (being in Him) should affect what I do and why I do it (doing in Him). James reminds us of being and doing working in tandem when says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith (being) but does not have works (doing) ...for as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”-James 2: 14, 26
Today let’s talk about doing with excellence; next week, enthusiasm; and, lastly, integrity.
Whatever you do, do it with excellence. Tom Peters, in his classic book “In Search of Excellence,” lifted readers to a new level of awareness for the need of excellence in business. We could use a good shot of excellence in Kingdom work as well. There is an awful lot of incompetence and pure sloppiness in work done in the name of Jesus. From my vantage point, there are at least two reasons for this.
- We are trying to do too much and, therefore, lack time and energy to do things really well.
- We are doing things for which we are not gifted and passionate and, therefore lack motivation to do things really well.
In my own life I find that when I contemplate what I could do, eliminate what I shouldn't do and concentrate on what I will do (and do it for the honor of Jesus) my level of excellence improves dramatically. For me a great deal comes down to prioritizing and pacing.
An IBM executive captured the essence of the matter when he said, "doing the best you can rarely means doing all you can and it never means doing more than you can do well."
After He had healed a deaf man, people said of the Lord Jesus, in Mark 7:37 (ESV) "He has done all things well."That's what I want for my life and work; doing all things well to honor Him.