Give up mediocrity and learn to love excellence.
There’s a Southern expression, “A lick and a promise.” It’s used in a sentence this way. “We have company coming over tonight, and all I can give this house is a lick and a promise.” This means the house is not going to be cleaned very well before company arrives. Mediocre attention.
A similar thing occurred in the story of Cain and Abel. God had asked them to give the best their crop or livestock to God as a sacrifice. (Abel raised sheep, and Cain raised plants.) On what appears to be their first such offering, Abel found his best, most robust, and offered it as a sacrifice to God. But Cain, not wanting to give the best of his crops, found some bruised and small fruit to offer.
God was not happy, and Cain knew it. It continues. Joe Doaks sees the contribution basket coming toward him at worship. He quickly digs around in his pocket for some available change to throw in. It was an offering of obligation rather than worship – just like Cain’s bruised vegetables. No praying about it. No planning about how to make this an intentional part of his budget.
How many other things do we give a “lick and a promise?”
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14.
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. 1 Timothy 4:8-10.
Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves whole heartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Deuteronomy 6:4-6.
Question: What is an area of my relationship to God to which I give little attention and effort?
Activity: Think about one area where you would like to grow in your relationship to God? What do you need to change in order to accomplish that?
Prayer: God of Creation, we know that everything you have created and done for us is “good” and nothing is mediocre. You have also asked us to have the same attention and focus in our lives. To give our best effort and most generous gift. We know it’s the least we can offer to One who loves us abundantly. Please help us to reject mediocrity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.