The Brotherhood – Part 172

The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.

What if your best isn’t good enough?

In our Brotherhood, excellence is one of our four commitments. We want to give our very best to our work, our families, our church, and frankly, every other part of our lives. Good enough really isn’t. Our best is the only goal worth pursuing.

But what if our best isn’t enough? Now, certainly there will be tasks and challenges that exceed us, but the one on my mind today is the idea of righteousness. Fact is, no matter how good we do, we will never be good enough to justify our connection with God.

I think that’s what the rich young ruler was after when he asked Jesus what was needed for eternal life. The guy wanted to gain the ultimate prize so Jesus pointed him in the impossible direction. Though the man insisted that he’d been faithful to God’s commands his entire life, even more was needed. The next step was to sell everything and give it to the poor. Wow! That’s a tough one.

But if he would have done it, what would the next step have been? Would it have been even more challenging? I’m guessing that the full checklist Jesus could have offered would seem almost endless. And then, the guy still wouldn’t have been able to achieve His goal.

Why? Because God is perfect in His holiness. That ship has sailed on us long ago. We can’t ever gain eternal life in our own effort. Instead, we have to admit our unworthiness, lay aside any hope of claiming such life, and decide that a poor peasant from Nazareth can earn this gift for us. We have to admit what we are and what we aren’t, a humble choice that the self-made seldom can make. That’s why Jesus said it would be difficult for the wealthy to enter. Their self-reliance keeps them chasing something they cannot buy.

Honestly, it’s not easy for any of us to be told that we’re not enough. And we sure don’t like hearing that we never will be. But relationship with God starts at the end of ourselves. As long as you think you can, you prevent Him from bringing what you need.

So, yes, we give our best to the life He’s given us, but not so that we can earn something in His presence. Instead, our pursuit of excellence is to demonstrate our thanksgiving for what we’ve been given.

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