Justification is an interesting action. Have you ever noticed how much you justify to yourself or others why you did or didn’t do something?
My moments of justification tend to focus on why I failed to follow through with a commitment I made. It might be a commitment to myself to exercise routinely or get more rest. It might be a commitment to someone else that I would take care of a project or task by a certain time frame.
Because I’m extremely skilled at justifying my own actions, I always notice when others are justifying their actions as well.
Recently I heard a friend note that he knew he wasn’t giving a client his best work but because he had agreed to do the work at a reduced price he felt justified in delivering less than his best.
The more I thought about his reasoning, the more it bothered me.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is true in many cases, but I would hope that we as believers would always give our absolute best in all that we do, even when we aren’t getting paid what we think we might be worth.
‘With all your heart’
Scripture is clear about doing our best in all that we do.
Colossians 3:23–24 says, “Whatever you do work at it with all your heart. … It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Galatians 6:9 says to never tire of doing good.
Second Timothy 2:15 reminds us to present ourselves to God “as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
And Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
Keeping our focus on Christ and seeking to be more like Him would demand a pursuit of excellence on our part, especially excellence of character and how we behave.
Representing Christ as a believer should mean we are aware if our lives are truly mirroring Him or not. We should always work to show grace and love while standing on truth.
If we are not able to give our best to all that we do as we journey through this life representing our Lord and Savior, then we really should do some soul searching and self-evaluation — eh hem, talking to myself here.
Certainly there are seasons and times when we have no choice but to give second best — and even to fail — but those moments should be because of situations out of our control not because we don’t care. And they shouldn’t happen because we are selfishly leaving the work for someone else to do.
We must find ways to reduce the demands on our lives so we can be in top form for those depending on us, and we must help each other in the process.
What does it say about our relationship with Christ and the condition of our heart if we purposefully agree to a job or task knowing we never intend to provide quality results or service? How do we justify such actions?
And how easy will it be to make a similar choice next time once we lower our standards and expectations of ourselves?
How far could we go down this path before we don’t even remember what our best looks like?
—Jennifer Davis Rash