“The Best Is The Enemy Of The Good” ~ Voltaire, A wise Italian
Good morning friends. The title of this morning’s post is from the opening line of a poem by Voltaire entitled, “A wise Italian”. As a very creative person my drive for perfection often leaves me miserable. One minute I’m in awe, the next minute I’m tearing it apart again. However, I noticed that as I grew older, I am not as cruel with myself as I used to be; as a result, I have developed strategies that enable me to stop wisely. The quest for perfection is not of itself the problem, the motive is the one to be brought up for cross examination. Our motives play a big role in what we do, and it has a very interesting way of providing satisfaction or despair.
With that in mind, let us consider this passage from one of Luke’s letters:
Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
Apollos was very good at what he knew, albeit limited, but his passion and drive kept him innovative and relevant. He was able to engage effectively, putting forward a very convincing case for what he knew and believed. Then through divine providence his
gift finally made room for him
He found favour with Priscilla and Aquila. He was humble enough to appreciate their investment in his ministry, and through their love and mentorship, his work was greatly enhanced.
I guess the secret is to start where we are, and to make the most of what we have. As long as our motivation is good, our work will be pleasing to God and it will provide benefits to humanity; thereby withstanding the tests of time. Dear friends, in God’s kingdom it’s all about His purpose, and not our ego. Paul made this very interesting statement in his effort to encourage friends in Corinth to be mindful of the motivation behind their work:
each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
In closing I’ll leave you with this thought from the book of proverbs. It has always served as a yardstick for appraisal of what I do:
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.
I pray that our work will stand before the King of kings on His return. Amen.
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