“Good is the enemy of “Great”


good-is-the-enemy-of-great

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” – Jim C. Collins

I was reminded of Jim Collins’ quote this week, “Good is the enemy of great.” I was reading the story of Mary and Martha, and was convicted.

Luke 10:38-42

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was busy. What she was doing was good. But Mary took advantage of the great thing, sitting at the feet of Jesus while he taught.  There are a lot of good things we need to do, our jobs, household chores, etc. But when we get “busy” and focus on these “good” things, sometimes the more important things suffer, like family time or our spiritual lives. The laundry can wait. People are more important.

I’m guilty of this. I’ve been very busy lately and have neglected family time and intense Bible study. My devotional time has been superficial, because I was distracted with all I was responsible for.

How can we prevent “good” from hindering the “great” in our daily lives? “What is important is seldom urgent,” Dwight D. Eisenhower often said, “and what is urgent is seldom important. The Eisenhower Matrix is one tool we can use to determine what is truly important, and what needs to be delegated or eliminated from our lives. The matrix is a business management tool, but can be used in all areas of our lives. Take a look at the matrix:

matrix

The Matrix is divided into four quadrants to help you determine what is truly important, what can wait, what can be delegated or what or not at all important or useful.

Quadrant 1: Put tasks that are both important and urgent in this box. I include family time and my spiritual growth here.

Quadrant 2: Put important tasks in this box that can wait a while, but don’t put them off too long.

Quadrant 3: Determine what is not important, but urgent, and put those tasks in this box. Often these tasks can be handled by others.

Quadrant 4: Determine what is not important, and not urgent, and put those activities in this box. Perhaps some of these things can be eliminated from your life giving you room for the more important things in your life.

If you are also convicted that what is “great” has been usurped by what is “good” in your life, consider looking at this time management tool.

May your life be filled with what is truly important!

Sources used:

https://www.developgoodhabits.com/eisenhower-matrix/

https://www.biblegateway.com (English Standard Version)

https://images.google.com/

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Storms


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Yesterday was the first day of hurricane season. Now that we live in Florida we pay attention to the tropical depressions, wonder if they will become hurricanes and concern ourselves with where they make landfall. Last year two hurricanes came near our home in Jacksonville. These storms left immense devastation in their paths. The communities hardest hit are still recovering.

Hurricanes are similar to the storms of life. Often they start small and sometimes we don’t pay attention to the warning. Then, when they hit with full force they wreak havoc on our lives, and often on the lives of those we love.

If God loves us why does He allow such storms? The short answer is we live in a fallen world. But if we stop and look at the storms of life perhaps we can find a message in them. Consider these truths:

The storms will come, so prepare and head the warnings.

Mark 13:33

Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.

Know where to seek refuge.

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

 Remember that God is greater than the storm.

Psalms 147:5

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

Believe God will direct you if you will listen.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

God is in control.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

God will see you through the storm.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

The storm will end.

Psalm 107:29

He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

 

During the 2017 hurricane season I read and heard about numerous accounts of people helping people. There were rescues, donations of clothes, money, and places to stay. Many people had to start all over in a new community, but they had help to make that transition. God’s grace is often shown through the love his people offer. There will be a new day.

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

Dear friends, I don’t know what storm you are facing, or will face, but I do know this, God is in control and will see you through. His purpose will prevail.

Philippians 1:6

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

 

May the Lord richly bless your day.

Sources:        Biblegateway.com (all verses are from the English Standard Version)

                        Google images