What If 99.9 Percent Was Good Enough?

by | Jul 11, 2018

What If 99.9 Percent Was Good Enough?

by | Jul 11, 2018

I saw a post a while ago asking the question, “What if 99.9 percent was good enough?” It showed how minor lapses (even just .1 percent) could lead to catastrophic consequences. If 99.9 percent was good enough, then:

  • 29,000 credit card transactions would be deducted from the wrong account in the next 60 minutes.
  • 12 newborns would be given to the wrong parents in the next 24 hours.
  • 22 commercial airline flights would crash in the next 24 hours (and that’s just in the United States!)

Obviously, 99.9 percent just isn’t good enough in so many areas of life. So why do we feel like our spiritual life should be different? That’s the question Jesus was asking the scribe who wanted to know what the greatest commandment was. Jesus said: “The most important is Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

He was directly quoting Deuteronomy 6, but with a twist. The original command says to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Jesus added the word mind. Why? Because he was talking to a scribe. Someone who studied the Law of Moses all day long. A theology geek. Someone who dealt with theories and philosophies and intellectual arguments all day. Jesus knew that this guy was tempted to love his own knowledge, logic, and intellectual ability more than he loved God.

There’s always some part of our life that we hold back from God. That’s why Jesus had to add a word to Deuteronomy 6. So what word would he add if he was talking to us?

Maybe he would say love the Lord your God with all your MIND, but for a different reason. Many Christians don’t use our minds much at all when it comes to God. We don’t read the Bible much, or when we do, we just skim through it. When we get to parts we don’t understand, we just say, “Well, it must be part of the mystery. God moves in mysterious ways!” We don’t try to dig deeper into the Word. We don’t do the hard work to understand it. “Just let go and let God.” So Jesus would say to us, you need to love the Lord with all your mind. You actually need to start using your mind!

Or maybe Jesus would say, love the Lord your God with all your TIME. We’re so busy with work, and social media, and binge-watching the Office for the fifth time, we don’t have much time left for the Lord. We don’t spend much time in prayer. We don’t spend much time in real face-to-face ministry. We all feel so busy, but how much of our time is spent on eternal things? Maybe Jesus would say to us, you need to love the Lord with all your time.

Or maybe Jesus would say, love the Lord your God with all your MONEY. Most of us here in the islands don’t have a lot of it. We have the highest cost-of-living in America: 70% more than the national average. But our salaries are only 30% more than the national average. You can do the math. Most of us are financially insecure. Sixty percent of us wouldn’t be able to come up with $400 cash in an emergency, so it can be scary for us to give money to God. We think, “I might need that next month!” And so Jesus would say to us, yes that’s true, but you need to trust God to provide money and love God with your money.

There’s some part of our life that each one of us is holding back from God. What is it?