Average is No Longer My Name
The word average is thrown around our in our culture to mean many things. Average simply is the common shared point or percentage of a whole. When you add everything or everyone up and then divide by the whole, that is the average. In American culture, we see average as something that is not good. Or at least just mediocre. Yet average is not bad. Everyone on this planet is average in some way or another. May be in height, or weight, hair color, talent, skills, financial success, and the list goes on and on. We are all average in some form or fashion. However, we exalt those that become above average in one or two particular things and then mark them as the best or better than everyone else who is just average.
For some strange reason, as humans we then measure our ability or success, even who we are as a person by those who seem to be just a little bit better than average in some way. This thought that we are just average becomes chains that bind many so they do not reach out to fulfill a passion or dream. Nor do they ever achieve something more than just the common life.
2 Corinthians 10:12b says, “But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
Rick Renner explains, “The word ‘comparing’ in Second Corinthians 10:12 is the Greek word sunkrino, and it paints the picture of two or more people standing side by side to thoroughly examine themselves in comparison to one another — and then critically judging to see who is superior among the candidates. One group would be classified as superior, while the other group would be classified as inferior relative to that other group. The simple truth is that such comparing is a fleshly endeavor that produces no spiritual fruit! It puts one up, puts another down, and fails to recognize the manifold, diverse graces of God that exist in the Christian community.”
I submit that average is ok at the start. We all start some place. But staying average is a choice that we all make over and over and it determines how long we will live in a state of mediocrity.
“Mediocrity is a region bound on the north by compromise, on the south by indecision, on the east by past thinking, and on the west by a lack of vision.” ― John Mason
Jesus – Our Example
Let’s take Jesus for example. He started as average as average gets. Isaiah 53:2 CJB says, “For before him he grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He was not well-formed or especially handsome; we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us.” In his outward appearance, he didn’t have much going for him. He wasn’t handsome or attractive. He was not taller than everyone else. He wasn’t of a stocky build that would separate him from average. Everything about him was just average. Except, what was inside of Him. Greatness lived there.
This then is the great challenge before all of us. Even though we all start as average, because God has given us gifts and talents, amazing abilities that we don’t see as extraordinary, greatness lives in us. Especially when Christ lives in your heart, everything that God is lives inside you, in your heart. We see how Jesus changed all the earth in just a few short years. Our calendar system is all based around his life and death. His teaching and sacrifice continue to change people everywhere it finds them. And the empowerment of His life into a lost sinner transforms them into a son or daughter in His family, and sets them free from everything that has them bound, even mediocrity – their averageness.
I may be just average in my body or my looks. I may be just average in my talents and skills. Yet, because Christ lives in me, average is no longer my name. Christ did not live a life filled with average. No, he has a mission, a destiny to fulfill. So do you and I. If we stay in the limited thinking of average, we will never become who God has called us to be. Thoughts of unworthiness, shame of the past, failures, weakness, and disappointment only lead us to a place of fear that paralyzes us and we never go any further. This is not the life that Jesus came to give us. We’ve got to break free of this average state.
Phil 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and Matthew in 19:26 said, “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
The Other Side of Fear
There is a call of greatness that is constantly speaking inside of us. It is God’s desires and His passions for us to become everything that He created us to be. So much of what God has for us in this life lives on the other side of our fears. He calls us to live by faith. Faith in what He has done and what He says. This seems very simple, however, most do not follow His call or command. He warns us in Proverbs 1:
“Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; surely, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore, they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them” – Proverbs 1:20-32 NKJV
But the next verse assures us that listening to Him (His wisdom) and acting on it will break average in our life. “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:33
“Rising above mediocrity never just happens; it’s always a result of faith combined with works. Faith without works is like gold within the earth. It is of no value until it is mined. A person who has faith but no actions is like a bird that has wings but no feet. The Bible says, ‘Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead’ (James 2:17 NKJV). Biblical principles multiplied by nothing equal nothing. Let’s be people who put our faith into action. One individual with faith and action constitutes a majority.” ― John Mason
So, let us rise above the average thinking and the dead works mentality that keeps us bound and locked up. Average may be our starting point but it is not our finish line!