A youth group from a small town church decided to paint the old sanctuary. Half-way through the job, they started running low on paint.
“What do we do?” they asked.
“Just pour some water in it, and keep painting,” replied the youth minister.
So they charged on with the thinned down paint. They quickly realized that–even thinned down–there still was not enough paint to finish the job.
“Add some more water,” the beleaguered youth minister said, determined to finish.
“But it’s barely more than whitewash now!”
“Add the water and keep painting.”
Grudgingly, the teenagers poured more water into the white soup. By now, the new paint barely covered the wood.
Just as they were about to finish the job, a sudden summer thunderstorm blew in and gushed rain on the freshly painted church washing off all of the thinned-out paint. The youth group said that as they ran for cover they heard a voice from heaven say, “Repaint and thin no more.”
It’s an old groaner of a joke, I know. However, if you press it, you might find a principle.
Excellence means giving our best. How often are we like that youth minister, constantly cutting corners to keep down the expenses?
You will not see that in the Old Testament. God demanded their best. If you were a rancher, God wanted the biggest, fattest and strongest bull or sheep that they had. When offering time came once a year, the Grand Prize was the one they offered to God. Put yourself in that situation, because it’s a hard sacrifice to make.
Careful now. Don’t get hung up on the bulls and cows, and miss the whole thing. You might be tempted to think, “Well, that lets me off the hook. I don’t own a single cow!” It is not about what you give, it is about how you give. God wants your best. If you have been cutting corners with your time, talents, and treasures then I have a message for you: “Repaint and thin no more!”
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. (Colossians 3:23)
Give your best. Do your best. Be excellent.
That’s the good news. Now go have a great day!