Dare to be ordinary

From motivational posters and speakers to “positive thinking” and prosperity preaching, we’ve been taught that we can have whatever we want. Jesus, however, would disagree.

1. Dare to be ordinary

    “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Napoleon Hill

    “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.” Jesus (Matthew 11:25 MSG)

2. Dare to be humble

    “We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” Tony Robbins

    “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus (Matthew 18:3-4)

3. Dare to be teachable

    “Self-trust is the first secret to success.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” Jesus (John 14:1)

4. Dare to be submissive

    “Never, ever, ever go to the Lord and say, ‘If it be thy will. . . .’ Don’t allow such faith destroying words to be spoken from your mouth.” Benny Hinn

    “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Jesus (Luke 22:42).

5. Dare to be middle class

    “God want us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us.” Joel Osteen.

    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus (Matthew 6:19-21)

6. Dare to be selfless

    “Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” Tony Robbins.

    “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus (Mark 10:43-45)

7. Dare to be unsuccessful

    “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Vince Lombardi

    “Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
    Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
    Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.” Jesus (Luke 6:20-21).

So, in the name of Jesus, go out there and dare to be ordinary!

Copyright © 2021 James N. Watkins

Bonus quotations

From Oswald Chambers:

    Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises— human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God— but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people— and this is not learned in five minutes.

Stephen Freeman writes about “The Cult of Excellence.”

    Often, the work of grace goes unnoticed, hidden both by its ordinariness and its lack of drama. Our culture is fond of singing, “Amazing grace,” with an expectation that what constitutes the work of God will always amaze and astound. It is the stuff of great “testimonies” and the various heroes of the faith. But most of the time throughout history, there is a slow and steadfast persistence of grace that, on the one hand, sustains us in our existence, and, on the other, constantly makes the fruit of our lives exceed the quality of our work. We offer him what is mediocre, at best, and He yields back to us thirty-fold, sixty-fold, a hundred. Indeed, we fail to understand that what some might judge to be “mediocre” is itself a work of grace. . . .

    We are beloved mediocrities. . . . Indeed, the cult of excellence, in many ways, is one of the soul-crushing myths of our age.


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