Is “Good” Good Enough?

Is “Good” Good Enough?“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” ~ Confucius

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~ Helen Keller

I’m not going to build a case in this post. I’m going to answer the title question and hope that I leave no doubt whatsoever in your mind that the answer I propose is the only right answer.

The answer is that “good” is never good enough. Good is merely “okay.” It is doing only what is expected. It is never stretching to reach a greater goal. Good is mediocrity. It is certainly not giving something all you have got.

Good is a reasonable effort without the passion of one’s heart. Good is lukewarm – neither hot nor cold. Good is getting by. Good is ordinary. Genius is the brain at work. Greatness is the heart at work. Good is just working at work.

Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Jobs saw great work as a matter of the heart.

The Holy Bible, the source of inerrant truth, admonishes us to do all that we do to the glory of God. Would you offer God less than all of your heart and mind and soul and strength?

I love writing. I write about everything from sermons to the stock market, from inspiration to immigration, and from micro-technology to macroeconomics – and I love every minute of it! Let me clarify – I do not just do what I love to do. Rather I have learned to love whatever I set my hand to do. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it with great passion. It makes life thrilling.

I cannot imagine the shallow life a person lives just being good at something. What is the point? Being good can’t even get you to heaven. That takes a passionate submission to the love of God and obedience to Him. (John 14:6)

Another writer once told me that what he writes about doesn’t matter – he’s just putting words on paper to make a living. In my days of operational management we called that a “lunch bucket mentality.” It’s a description of a boring life of punching a clock and doing the same mindless work day in and day out without any passion to excel. It’s an “I punched the clock – I put in the time – Now pay me” kind of lifestyle in which people start the work week by counting the days and hours until the next weekend.

I am sorry to tell you that the life of “good” is available to you, if that is what you really want. But you need to count the cost before you make your choice. Why settle for good, when you can be great?

John Piper said, “Most people slip by in life without passion, spending their lives on trivial diversion, living for comfort and pleasure.” Some would call comfort and pleasure a good life. He calls it a wasted life. If you don’t agree with him now, someday you will. If you are living a “good” life and doing a “good” job, it’s not too late to make your life and your work great.

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