I’ve been struck lately with a preoccupation regarding the concept of mediocrity. It continues to come into my mind as I see evidence of it all around me and within my own life. Jesus gave His opinion of mediocrity when He said that He detested lukewarm faith. Using strong language, He said that mediocre Christians made Him vomit (Revelation 3:16). We’ve bought into a teaching that says as long as we say a certain prayer that Christ will welcome us into His Kingdom with open arms. But Jesus makes it plain that unless we have a “hot” faith, He will spit us out. This is not a picture of the open arms we have been taught to expect.
I look around those gathered around me in a typical Sunday service and see scores of people that are committed to Christ in surface and superficial ways. I also recognize the same tendencies in my own life, and it makes me sick. We now have generations of believers who think that they can pursue their interests throughout the week, do the Jesus thing on Sundays, and be guaranteed a seat on the bus to Heaven. This is not only bad theology, it is dangerous. We read passages like Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus turns away many who thought they knew Him, but we assume He must be talking about other people. No, Jesus is talking about you and me. He’s talking about anyone who does not obey His commands. Going to Church or saying a prayer does not make you a Christian. Actually making Jesus the Lord of your life and doing the things He told us to do is what elevates us from a life of mediocrity into one of divine redemption.
Jesus didn’t die so that we might live the American dream. He didn’t humble Himself to become a baby in human flesh so we could spend our days stuffing our faces and watching television. Christ did not endure the horrific beatings and crucifixion so we could while away our days talking politics or football. He did not rise from the grave to give us the opportunity to acquire the latest iPhone or flat screen TV. What are we doing? What have we become? God forgive us all for plumbing the depths of selfishness and mediocrity. We were not created to fulfill our every whim and desire. We were commissioned to go into the world proclaiming the good news of Jesus while caring for the sick, the helpless, and everyone in need (Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 25:31-46).
The cure for living a mediocre life is total surrender to Jesus Christ. When He is truly the Lord of your life, His thoughts will be your thoughts, and your actions will be the work He created you to do. Until we choose to make our lives about Him and not about ourselves, we will be forever trapped in mediocrity. It’s not about giving God more of your life, it’s about giving Him all of it. We are either on mission for Christ or playing a game that ends with Him spewing us out of His mouth. There is no mediocrity allowed in Heaven.