Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

The Difference Between Mediocrity and Greatness

Three weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of over 40 church leaders at a Christian leadership conference. These were men committed to serving God in their various local churches and communities.

Pondering Greatness

How do you call men already embodied with passion for Christ to a life of greatness and not mediocrity? How do you inspire leaders to aim for more —  in fulfilling their God-intended mission?

God-centred greatness and self-focused pride are not the same

Let’s get this straight — I’m using the word “greatness” cautiously. I’m not referring to self-centred, self-boasting, proud outlook on your personal achievements.

By greatness, I mean an intentional life, completely sold out to God. Greatness in its true perspective cannot be considered outside Christ.

All other achievements outside of your God-ordained purpose hold little or no eternal value and reward.

Men and women like Paul the Apostle, Esther, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon (to name a few) should challenge us. They overcame significant challenges to pursue God’s call on their lives.

They gave themselves to the work of the Master.

Never settle for mediocrity. Never!

Before we explore just how they did it, let’s understand why this is critical for you.

You were created with the capacity and potential to achieve greatness for the glory of God (Genesis 1:28). But with every seed, that of greatness must be nurtured.

You have a significant responsibility to pursue a life of true meaning, purpose and excellence. Don’t be content within the comfort zone of your local church every Sunday.

You must not settle for mediocrity. Never!

#1: Know your “WHY”

Purpose simply means the reason for which something is created. People content with mediocrity never take time to understand the goal of their lives. What’s the goal of your life? What’s your “WHY”?

Those who go on to achieve true greatness understand their purpose.

If you don’t understand the reason for your calling, you cannot fulfill God’s demand on your life. You were saved to become a change agent to bring others to the knowledge of Christ. But that’s a common call shared by other Christians (2 Corinthians 5:18).

You have a specific mission through which you must fulfill that common call.

Maybe your heart is for the homeless. Or you possess a relentless desire to rescue lost youths and give them a sense of direction. Maybe you have that awesome career as a platform to share your faith with colleagues and influence others through your leadership.

Our collective goal as change agents may be singular but individual assignments are different. For some, significantly different.

You cannot fulfil a purpose you don’t know about. You must be intentional about your life. You must know what you’re living for. It sounds so basic but each week I meet Christians who love Jesus but miss this basic principle – they don’t know their specific reason for living.

If you’re reading this post, could that also be you?

Paul was so sure mediocrity didn’t describe his life he could boldly say to Timothy; “But you have fully known my… purpose”  (2 Timothy 3:10).

Question: How would your life be described today and to the next generation? Don’t hurry over that question… think about it.

Further reading: Philippians 3:12-14, 2 Timothy 4:7, 2 Timothy 3:10.

Image courtesy of Darrel Larson | Flickr

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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4 Replies

  1. Paul was definitely not mediocre, and is a great example for us to look to. Talk about a failure to many people, IF he allowed others to define his calling, or success. The same is true for us, and I’m glad you pointed it out so well in your post!

    1. Thanks David. I couldn’t agree more. Paul will always be a role model for us.

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