In the business world, there are people who surpass expectations — not necessarily for personal gain, but to show gratitude for being employed, and to help the company or organization succeed.
And there are those who care nothing about the company or excelling. They complain about having to go to work, and grudgingly do the bare minimum — less, if they can get away with it. Still, they take home the company or organization’s money in the form of a paycheck.
As a college student, during the summer, I worked in a factory that manufactured plastic pipe fittings. I made sure the machines were constantly supplied with necessary raw materials. If a machine ran out, it would “blow up” and stop production for more than an hour.
The job was enjoyable, but not very challenging.
While working the day shift, I observed people who concentrated on doing their jobs and doing them well.
As I worked the graveyard shift, I observed a different work mentality. Because management was not around, and there were corners with no lights, it was common to see people sneak off, rest, eat or nap.
I didn’t understand that mindset. I had been hired to do specific tasks, but I was not going to do just the bare minimum. I was going to fulfill my responsibilities, and when those were done, find more to do.
Would you believe that in the Bible there are minimum requirements for being considered a Christian? Bare minimums are belief in the existence of God, our creator; and that Jesus Christ is Immanuel, "God with us," and that he died on a cross so the sins of those who believe in him could be forgiven. The bare minimums also include the belief that God’s Holy Spirit is his presence among us, working in and through us to accomplish God’s will on this earth.
More is needed to grow in faith and excel. This includes a change of mind and heart, and putting our faith into action. We change from thinking about and living only for ourselves, to living completely for Jesus Christ.
What God requires of us is a life lived with acts of justice, kindness and humility, which are lived as a result of our faith.
Don’t try to get by doing just the bare minimum. Do your utmost to excel in your faith journey!
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.