Have you ever seen the image of a school of fish all swimming in the same direction, but there is one, bold fish swimming in the opposite direction? It’s a fairly common and elementary image, but it speaks a very powerful message. In this large group of fish all following the current, the path of least resistance, there is one fish that dares to stand out and challenge the norm.
As leaders, we are called to be that one, bold fish. We are called to stand out and confront mediocrity. In Romans 12:2 we read about not conforming to the worldly ways of the culture we live in: “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”(TPT)
Bold leaders do not follow the current of this world. Bold leaders go the extra mile. They strive for excellence in everything and do not tolerate mediocrity in anything. In a world where “just good enough” has become acceptable, it is paramount that we challenge that mentality and hold ourselves to a higher standard.
In Numbers, we read about Moses sending twelve spies into the Promised Land. Upon returning, they gave a negative, faithless report. However, Caleb challenged the norm. He encouraged the people to go take the land God had promised them. In Joshua 14 he says, “I returned and gave an honest report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the promised land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.”(NLT)
Caleb confronted mediocrity. He didn’t conform to the crowd around him, but stood firm in his conviction despite adversity.
You see, mediocrity is comfortable, but excellence requires conviction. It’s easy to cultivate mediocrity because it costs nothing, whereas excellence demands sacrifice. We see this in the life of King David in 2 Samuel 24:21-24 where he is offered property for free to make offerings to God, yet he insists on paying because he refused to give God something that cost him nothing. David and Caleb confronted mediocrity; instead of taking the easy route, they went the extra mile in pursuit of excellence.
Bold leaders don’t cut corners or finish short, instead, they take one more step after everyone else has stopped.
- In what areas of your life do you need to confront mediocrity?
- In what areas of your life is God encouraging you to live with excellence?
- What is one small step you can take today towards that?
God, thank you for the calling you’ve placed on my life. Help me to be a bold leader and confront mediocrity in my life. Holy Spirit please teach me to live a lifestyle of excellence and to put my heart and soul into everything I do. In the name of Jesus, Amen.