The great British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli is credited with saying, “The good is the enemy of the best.” Sage advice. Scripture also calls us to pursue excellence, not settling for one “talent” but striving to double whatever the Lord has entrusted to us (Matt. 25: 20-21). As adopted sons and daughters of the One whose “way is perfect” (Ps. 18:30 NKJV), believers must strive for excellence in everything to reflect the character of their Father.
As usual, Jesus said it best. “Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
But pursuing excellence and perfection is complex. We can’t simply—as many say—“give one hundred percent, one hundred percent of the time.” The math doesn’t work. As soon as we give one hundred percent of our time and energy to one thing, we have zero percent left for anything else. And God has given us all multiple responsibilities.
No, excellence has to do with the overall quality of a life or an enterprise, and all pursuit of perfection must be incremental and dispersed. That often means settling for far less than perfection in one area in order to make needed improvements in another and advance the whole.
SharperIron is always looking for good writers, and we’re especially interested right now in good new writers. Accordingly, we’re launching our first, hopefully semiannual (twice-a-year), writing contest. Here’s how it works.
Participants write articles from a conservative, biblical, fundamental point of view and send them to us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The articles should be 1,200 to 1,600 words long (multi-part series are welcome). They may address any topic, but we’re particularly interested in the following questions.
1. Is the idea that “all truth is God’s truth” true?
2. Why are you a dispensationalist after taking a long hard look at the alternatives?
3. Why do you prefer an alternative after taking a long, hard look at dispensationalism?
4. What are the biggest challenges facing Christian parents today?
5. What social or cultural trend do you believe Christians are especially in need of thinking about biblically?
Contestants may submit multiple articles.
SI is hosting its second Refiners’ Club meeting this Thursday. The format will be a private forum discussion beginning Thursday morning and continuing for several days. If you’re a Refiners’ Club member, you’ll be getting details on how to log in for the meeting, etc. via email. If you’d like to join the Refiners’ Club, you’ll find more information here.
I hope I’m not an ungrateful person. But I do know I often fail to say thanks to folks who have it coming from me. I believe “in everything give thanks” refers to thanking God, but surely a general spirit of thankfulness is in the penumbra. In any case, other passages call us to give folks their due, “honor to whom honor.”
Recent events have given me the nudge I needed to do that.
First, I need to thank all of you who keep coming to SI day after day to read or contribute in the forums. Site traffic is probably down some from a couple of years ago, but has remained pretty steady for the last year or so. There is no SI without readers for the writers and discussers for the discussions.
Have a keen interest in books? If you also have good people skills (for working with publishers and recruiting reviewers) and time to coordinate our book review efforts at SI, please contact Aaron about your interest, and we’ll talk.
Please include “BRE” somewhere in the subject line of your e-mail. Send tips and recommendations to the same email address.
Jason Button has served SI as Book Reviews Editor since February of ‘07 (if not earlier), but is now stepping down from that role. Recent changes—including relocating and getting a new job—have made new demands on his resources. We thank him for volunteering so many hours of his time to obtain review copies of books and recruit readers to review them at SI.
But that leaves us with a vacancy. If you have a keen interest in books, good people skills (for working with publishers and recruiting reviewers), and time to coordinate our book review efforts at SI, please contact Aaron about your interest, and we’ll talk. Please include “BRE” somewhere in the subject line of your e-mail.
If you don’t want to be the BRE but have a suggestion for the job, please send us that info as well.