I make a lot of mistakes.
I doubt that comes as news to anyone, but it’s true – I make a lot of mistakes.
One of my error-rich fields is typing. I wasn’t the greatest speller as a kid. Teachers told me I thought too fast and therefore didn’t pay attention to what I was writing (which I think was a very clever and encouraging way to tell me I am sloppy speller).
I guess I do the same thing when I type on a keyboard. I’m not the fastest keyboarder – but I did take typing in high school (maybe the most lasting class I took) – so I’m at least proficient (I use all my fingers and don’t look at the keys).
Last week a member of our staff very helpfully pointed out the need for my outgoing communication (esp. emails and blogs) to be proofed by someone – preferably someone not in a sloppy rush as I often am – or perhaps someone not thinking as fast as I do (at least that’s what my third grade teacher would tell me). Mistake-filled communication might suggest to some a generally sloppiness in ministry. I agree. So I am working harder this week to prepare communication with enough time for others to help me eliminate the mistakes.
Of course, I will still make mistakes, we all will, and in an odd sort of way that actually speaks to an authenticity which is also to be highly valued. However we should all strive toward excellence.
For the last couple of decades excellence has become a value for a lot of churches. It most commonly get’s expressed like this:
Excellence honors God and inspires people.
It’s a value drawn from Colossians 3:23-24. Churches and individuals who hold this value commit to doing the best we can with what we have. There is a difference between excellence and perfection. Again, excellence is doing the best we can with what we have. Doing the best we can means that every aspect of Grace should reflect a quality effort and not a compromise to expediency (the problem when I type). We don’t strive for excellence simply for the sake of excellence, but because we serve an excellent God. We have the greatest message in history! Therefore, we should present all we do in the best format possible.
That’s not only true for what we do it’s also true for how we are “to be.”
I’ve been thinking over the last few days about pursing excellence and one of the places where we can honor God and inspire people is by demonstrating excellence in our interactions with one another.
This is important, so keep reading. It’s a lousy witness to get every word spelled correctly and all the grammar mistakes eliminated and then treat one another harshly or even hurriedly. Maybe the most important place we can practice excellence in our relationships – even our staff relationships.
So throughout the week I’m asking myself: “Is this conversation honoring God?”“Am I treating this person in a way that would inspire others?”“Am I rushing sloppily through my relationships or am I pursuing excellence?”
PS – No one proofed this – but I tried to type slower!