My father told me long ago, “Son, no matter what you do. Be the best.” Some of you might interpret that phrase to be arrogant or assertive. Your interpretation is incorrect. My father knew I would have failures in my life. To be the best means to strive to become the best at whatever you do. Even if you come up short and still have done your best you have no shame or regrets. If you have done your best what more can be asked of you? Let us look at my favorite verse of scripture.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matt 20:28 (NLT)
Jesus sacrificed His glory to come to us. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords yet became a servant for us all. Not just a servant but the best servant. He is the example for all of us to follow. Yet that is the best we can ever expect from ourselves is to follow. No matter how hard we try. No matter how many things we accomplish. No matter how many others we try to help we still will come up short in God's eyes.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 (NLT)
Many times we fall into a trap. We believe if we just study our bible hard enough. If we just memorize enough scriptures. If we just pray often enough. If we go to church and try to live a good life God will make things right for us. If we just try to make God happy our marriages will be wonderful, our kids will grow up perfect. Our job will be a utopia. That is not what God's Word tells us.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23 (KJV)
As author Chip Ingram wrote: We may not do it consciously, but our expectations make God out to be a cosmic vending machine.
Whatever you do be the best. If you come up short you have nothing to be ashamed about. You did your best. For our salvation our best is still not good enough. Heaven would be a boring place if we were able to enter on our own accomplishments. Think about it. We would have to sit there and listen to others brag about what they did to get into Heaven. We hear enough of that junk (putting it lightly) here on earth.
Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. Prov 11:4 (KJV)
Being the best means often stepping aside in the service of others. Doing the job no one else wants to do. Taking that extra step knowing in advance that no one is watching or will even care about what you have done. God is watching. Be the best.