Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed…2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB)
I guess everyone knows by now I’m a Dancing with the Stars fan. My only problem with the show is just because you win doesn’t necessarily mean you were the best dancer. It just means you were the most popular—the “star” with the biggest fan base. On Monday night’s show the four lowest scorers weren’t even in jeopardy. In previous seasons, people have gotten much further along than they ever should have, and some have been sent home when, if judged strictly on who was the best dancer, should have made it all the way to the finals. Can you imagine if your favorite sport were judged the same way? What if the Super Bowl didn’t depend on who scored the most points but who had the most avid fans? Wouldn’t that be crazy?
But it’s kind of the way society looks at things nowadays. Striving to be the best isn’t encouraged the way it used to be. No one is ashamed of mediocrity. My kids and even my grandkids are long past the T-ball stage, but I’m told they don’t even keep score anymore. Everybody gets a turn at bat every “inning.” No one wins or loses. Being “inclusive” means everyone gets a trophy for “participation” instead of striving for excellence.
Many schools don’t even have grades anymore either. I guess everyone just “graduates” when they turn eighteen. What would that even mean in that case? Schools that still do have grades have “dumbed them down.” When I was in school 95-100 was an “A” and 90-94 was a “B.” Now, 90-100 is an “A” and 80-89 is a “B.” I read somewhere recently that a teachers’ union was irate that teachers should have to pass literacy tests. Why? Shouldn’t teachers be literate?
In the workplace, people are discouraged from working too hard. “You’re trying to make the rest of us look bad” is the bullying tactic used to keep down the work ethic. When I worked retail, I had so much trouble with this. It’s worse now. If you go into a store, it’s all you can do to get someone to ring you up. You certainly don’t expect them to wait on you! If you do, you’ll be sorely disappointed. I recently tried to run my son-in-law’s business while he was away on vacation. I couldn’t even get his employees to show up, much less get the work done. It doesn’t help much that the government will dole out as much for people to sit home as they can earn at most lower income jobs. 2 Thessalonians says if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either.
The Bible teaches that we work not to please man, but to please God. We are always to give our best. It honors Him when we do. No, we will not all achieve being the best. Only one wins the prize (1 Cor. 9:24) or at least that’s the way it used to be, but the real victory is in the striving, doing our best, and becoming better in the process. Popularity isn’t the goal except in a TV show. Even there, for most of those stars, their desire is simply to get better and better each week. Sure they want to win, but they win every time they do their best.