Have you ever considered the idea that mediocrity is a disease and it is infiltrating our culture at a rapid rate? Its first and most predominant symptom is fear. We fear being noticed, or not being noticed at all. We fear being uncomfortable or being too comfortable. We fear failure or being too passionate. We fear work, but we also fear rest and the self-realization that can come through either. We fear speaking up, but we also fear being heard. We feel safest taking the middle ground; just a little popularity, and a little reputation, but still ready to receive ALL of God’s blessings. We want just enough power to feel like we are in control, yet without the cost.

The disease of mediocrity is one that pervades our culture today, yet it simply is not Biblical. When we think of a mediocre, or a lukewarm church, we most commonly think of the Church of Laodicea spoken of in Revelation 3. Jesus says in verses 15-17, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” Paul’s words to the Church in Corinth are similar as he addresses their complacency in 1 Corinthians 4:8, “You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you.” Complacent, mediocre people think they have already arrived and for fear of being found out, they try to communicate that they don’t need anyone else. They keep up their blinders and aren’t willing to look at the person God has created them to be. This disease of mediocrity existed within the Church of Laodicea, it existed in the Church of Corinth and exists in many of our churches today.

Today’s vernacular calls this, “playing it safe”. To this, Francis Chan says, “Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. Their focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.” Safe living may be comfortable, provide just enough recognition and control, but is that what God intends for his children? Not at all. Jesus says in John 10:10 that he came that we may live lives of abundance, to the full, being who he created us to be; a saved people ready to go out and boldly proclaim our hope to a desperate world. This may require taking risks and it will require facing fears, but it is all part of God’s perfect design.

In 1928, American author John Shedd wrote, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” How are you built? How do you want to live your life? Are you a ship in the harbor, afraid to face a possible storm? If you stay in the harbor though, you will also miss out on the wind in your sails and the glory of sailing on the open sea; being who God designed you to be.

Lynette Fuson
Director of Care & Counseling

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