I listened to a message recently from Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo of Love, Dating and Marriage titled, ‘The enemy called average’. It’s basically about how easy it is to settle for average living and how dangerous it is to our overall well-being. These are some of the nuggets I was able to glean from the sermon:
1. God has called everyone one of us to live a life of excellence not mediocrity. In the book of Genesis, we read about how God gave man and woman the kingdom mandate to have dominion over all the earth. In other words, we’ve been given the authority to be excellent stewards and stewardesses of the earth.
2. A life of excellence requires big, well thought out goals. And big, well thought out goals require a lot of commitment and sacrifice to be accomplished. You’ve heard it before, “no pain and no gain”. It’s one thing to dream big and have grand plans but following through is a whole ‘nother ball game (can I get a witness? LOL). Staying on track and remaining focused till the end is not easy, but it’s possible. With God all things are possible. He gives discipline and wisdom to all who seek it (James 1:5, 2 Tim 1:7)
3. Everybody can overcome mediocrity with discipline and the right motivation. Motivation is great but discipline keeps us on track when our motivation wanes because the fact is, our motivation levels will dip at various points of our lives. We can get tired and frustrated when things don’t go exactly as we’d like but when we’re disciplined, we remain focused with our eyes fixed on our goal(s) even when we feel like quitting.
4. One of the greatest gospel anyone can ever preach is what they do with their gifts and abilities. The best testimony we can ever have is the influence we have in our different spheres of influence. We’ve been called to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) but we can’t be truly effective if we live dull and unsavoury lives- No one’s attracted to that! We can’t be influencers if our lives are mediocre and lackluster. Excellence is attractive, much more attractive than average. Our (honed) gifts will bring us before kings (Proverbs 18:16).
5. The ‘wilderness experience” comes with the territory of excellent living. So what exactly is this wilderness experience? It’s a time of hiding, pruning, refining in preparation for the “big reveal”. It’s a time when you feel alone and/or misunderstood by people around you. It’s a time of challenges and trials. It’s also a time where it’s really easy lose sight of your purpose, your vision, your faith and even God.
It’s an experience that can make or mar you depending on your attitude and reactions towards it. We can choose to see it as a refining process very similar to what a diamond in the rough goes through before it actually becomes shiny and shimmering and let the Refiner work His craft. Or we can see it as some kind of curse and burden and become bitter and broken. The “wilderness experience” is not pleasant but the end result can be beautiful and far outweigh whatever pain we went through if we let it.
I don’t know about you but I’ve chosen to up the ante for 2017 and fully embrace excellent living. I want better for myself so I choose to do better.
Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. I’d love to hear your opinions.