(The following is an excerpt from Luke McElroy's upcoming book. Click Here to purchase)
Excellence is imperative for our craft to move people.
But, it must become a personal journey for ourselves, more than an outward quest to impress others. It's a challenge to do less. Trusting that God will come through in the more and give us that creative spark.
Because everywhere around us, we're encouraged to hustle, try harder, do more and show a bit more grit.
One of my favorite verses in all of scripture is Psalm 51:16-17, and I love the way Eugene Peterson phrases it in his The Message translation:
"Going through the motions doesn't please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice."
God never misses the posture of our hearts ready for love.
This means you and I have a choice. We can be fake and go through the motions to create a flawless performance with worldly perfection as our goal, or we can be willing to do less, step into vulnerability, expose our uniqueness, and posture ourselves as the people God created us to be.
The path we choose will determine whose praise means more to us: the praise of our Father, or the praise of others.
Perfect is a myth because too much of that word has been defined by the world’s standards. After all that I have written about that word so far, it may surprise you that Jesus says to "be perfect." But we must consider the full context of the verse to recognize why He said it. Look at Matthew 5:43-48:
You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (emphasis mine)
There it is. Jesus telling us to be perfect.
But, it comes after an entire section of His saying that we aren't to look or act like the world.
Instead, we do everything out of lovea clue that perfection to God starts with the heart and ends in love.
If the heavenly Father is our picture of perfection, then the world's perception of perfect is mythical.
Visionary of SALT Conferences and founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to Orange Thread Live Events and TripleWide Media. Author of several books including most recently released Creative Potential: Principles for Unleashing Your God-Given Calling, Luke was hailed as one of the "top innovators for worship" by Worship Leader Magazine. Luke's leadership has helped create powerful live environments for thousands around the world. He is proud to call Nashville, TN home and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at LukeMcElroy.com