No one wants to be mediocre, right? I mean don’t we try to avoid that at all costs? Don’t we try to stand out in the crowd, achieve great things, and be successful?
According to Kyle Drake, author of Unsucceeding: Waking Up From My American Dream, we have to choose between success in this world or success in God’s Kingdom. We can’t have it both ways. So in his estimation, it is wise to choose to be mediocre in this world so you can devote your full attention to being a success in God’s Kingdom by truly loving God and people in practical ways. He climbed the corporate ladder until he became vice president of a bank and then walked away from it all, sold his house, and became self-employed so he could do the things that mattered to God like care for his family, develop deep friendships, help others in any way, and become fully devoted to God. The following excerpt from his book will explain his thinking further.
When God led me to give up the career, sell the house, and begin a life of really believing Him, I did want to give up setting my heart on building wealth in the name of security. It was later on that I came to another dilemma. I realized that I can give up striving for success as defined by money, but I can still want prestige, or respect from others, more than God’s way. I can live free of the desire for money but still desire to be liked, respected, even revered, by other people.
At the core it was the same desire.
. . .
God is opening my eyes more and more as I walk down this road to see that the amount of money I make or don’t make, my position in any organization, top or bottom, or my ranking in any field, good or bad, is of no consequence. What matters is the bent of my heart and mind. If my heart is set on success in this world then it cannot be set on success in the Kingdom of God. Because, according to Jesus, where your heart is so is your treasure.
God doesn’t call us to be successful in the world and mediocre in His Kingdom. He calls us to be successful in His Kingdom, even if it requires you to be mediocre in the world. He doesn’t call us to be mediocre to Him. He has taught me, and year after year He continues to teach me, that if I try to be successful in this world by striving for wealth or respect, then I end up being fairly fruitless in His Kingdom.
God wants us to be successful, to prosper, in loving Him and people, first and foremost, experiencing real joy by knowing Him deeply, and in trusting him with real, radical faith. That is success, and the only success that matters.
. . .
It sounds so counterintuitive, but could mediocrity as the world defines it actually be something to aspire to? I’m given the freedom to decide each day which definition to accept.
There are two roads. One is successful living in God’s Kingdom. And the other is success in this world. It’s not two roads converged into one. It is a fork in the road that I’m faced with every day. It’s impossible to authentically live on both. And with my Father, my Lord, and my Counselor helping I can choose the road that leads to real life.
–Kyle Drake, Unsucceeding, excerpt from Chapter Fourteen: Mediocre.
I know this is a relatively short exposure to the concept, but how does it make you feel? Did you feel a twinge of guilt (I did)? Did you feel it was unrealistic? Did you wish you could find a way to live that way?
Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Unsucceeding: Waking Up from My American Dream
This post is part of the Virtual Book Fair: Christian Authors A to Z. See the list of other authors featured in the Virtual Book Fair.