Contend Earnestly: Good, Better, Best

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Good, Better, Best

Mr. Taecker was my seventh grade history teacher at Wilson Junior High School. I was fortunate enough to have his class a year before he retired. He seemed like a hundred years old to me back then. Mr. T wore the same type of flannel fisherman's outfit every day. He had the fisherman's vest, hat, pants and boots. He used to rig lures or follow his soy bean stock in the daily newspaper while we copied his notes from the chalkboard. Every morning he would arrive very early and write down the same notes he had been using for decades onto chalkboards, which surrounded our classroom. It would take us most of the class to copy down all that he had written.

There was one section on his chalkboard which was reserved for his little verse. His saying was circled and had "DO NOT ERASE!" over it. Once a week Mr. T's board would be cleaned by the custodian except for this little spot. He would use this verse to punish students who were misbehaving. Usually the penalty was to write it down ten times but if you were really bad he would have us do it up to a hundred times. To my shame not only did I write that verse over and over but to this day I have that saying memorized, some twenty years later.

Ironically when I used to substitute teach I would write it down on the board and use it for the same purpose as Mr. Taecker did. Fortunately I finally understood the wisdom of his verse many years later.

Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until your Good is Better and your Better is Best!

I love this little saying as I am able to use it in many areas of my life especially spiritually. When I think of my favorite Bible verses I think about how I can always improve and strive for excellence.

"For whether you eat or drink do it all for the glory of God"
1 Cor 10:31

I was thinking about our BLOG name and what it meant and it reminded me of Mr. Taecker's saying. The phrase "contend earnestly" is not used anymore. I looked up those two words and this is what I found: To strive against an opposition or against difficulties. To compete as in a race with deep sincerity, seriousness, and determination. That is what it means to "contend earnestly". We are called to fight the good fight.

Two days ago I was reading, Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper and I was reminded of 2 Tim 2:15 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. Again I thought of Good, Better, Best.

There are so many other verses that I want to apply getting Good, Better and Best at:

Romans 12:1 Present your body as a living holy sacrifice acceptable to God

Matthew 16:24 Deny yourself, take up your daily cross, and follow Me

Philipians 1:27 Conduct yourself in the manner worthy of the calling

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind

1 Peter 1:15 Be holy yourselves aslo in all your behavior

James 1:25 Don't be a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer

Matthew 22:37-39 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind

Good, Better, Best is all about drive, passion, dedication and the pursuit of pressing on toward the prize which is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


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