If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.
As a perfectionist, everything inside of me screams in protest at that statement, but I actually agree with it. I learned this modern proverb from a college professor gone church planter who I respect more than I can say. He might overuse the phrase for things that really probably could be done well, but every now and again, we encounter something that no matter how amazing or unfortunate the result is, must be done.
Exhibit A: Pants
Try going out in pubic without some on. If you’re a lady, skip the skirt or whatever else you’ve got. See how far you make it before you’re accosted or arrested. If tonight, you happened to find yourself in the curious state of being without pants out on the streets of Boise, Idaho where at the writing of this post, the temperature is 9 degrees fahrenheit, you would likely accept anything that you thought might keep you warm. You’d take dirty denim, orange-sequined drawers, tight trousers, or if you happen to be against them, even skinny jeans in the hopes that they’d help you stay a little warmer in our inclement winter weather.
The idea of doing something poorly because it needs to be done flies in the face of excusing oneself from an activity or endeavor simply because one happens to be terrible at it. Particularly for things that must be done.
Exhibits B through…
Eating: I can’t cook to save my ridiculous life. If I was a hunter, I’d starve. If I was a subsistence farmer? Same thing. But a man’s got to eat. McDonald’s doesn’t count. I want to say that Carl’s Jr. does, but they have truly horrific commercials, so go with your gut on this one.
Saying difficult things: You didn’t think I’d just stay at the bottom level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, did you? It’s better to stammer and stumble through telling someone they hurt you, they have a problem, or that their favorite tv show has been cancelled. I’d throw proselytizing in this one. About which, Paul said,
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. -Phil. 1: 15-18:a
Paul isn’t saying that people are speaking about Christ poorly because they aren’t eloquent speakers, but he is celebrating that even with wrong intentions Christ is preached. Even if you suck at sharing your faith, even if your motives are wrong, I’m still in favor of Jesus’ name being shared with all the people.
Church: I wrote about my experiences in trying to find a church after leaving the only church I’d ever known. The Lateral Growth Chronicles are still fresh in my mind, even though I’ve been committed to a wonderful church for 2 1/2 years now. Something I learned during that time is that church is actually necessary for the believer. Does it save you? No. But does it keep you saved? Technically, no, but it makes walking away from Jesus entirely a lot more difficult. So, even if it means settling, which I totally did for about two months, every believer should get their butt into church.
Relationships: We’ve all heard, “No man is an island.” Not even those who have been called to celibacy. Even celibate mimes (there has to be at least one out there). God made humans in the same image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to need other humans. I’m extroverted to the point of nearly being codependent. Not everyone has that grace, but we can’t go it alone. Even tough friendships are typically beneficial to people whether or not they’re believers. This doesn’t mean that we should just link our lives to anyone, but we can’t avoid people. In the movie Cast Away, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) should have been crazier than he was after being alone for an extended period of time. Then again, he did have a friend named Wilson who clearly helped him retain his sanity (Note: If you haven’t read Robinson Crusoe, it’s a fantastic book).
I could write about a thousand more things, but this post is already long. So I will ask you this: What would you add to this list? That is,
What in your life is so important that it’s worth doing badly?
Hint: I’ve had to write a few things and didn’t feel great about the writing itself, but the topic was significant enough that I posted anyway. It’s like writing a check to pay your rent or mortgage; you wouldn’t not do it because your handwriting sucked, right?