Only the Few
1 Corinthians 9:25
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Only a few make it to the top in any area of life. There are only a few superstars in sports, a few great men of God, and a few great Christians in life. The reason there are so few that make it to the top is because so few people are willing to do what it takes to make it to the top.
God makes it clear that there is nothing wrong with striving to be the best at what you do. If nobody strives to be the best, then everyone will settle for mediocrity. If striving to be the best were a sin, God would admonish those who strive for it. However, God doesn't admonish Christians to strive to be the best, but He shows them what to do to be the best.
Everyone should strive to be the best at what they do. There is nothing wrong with a pastor striving to have the best or largest church. There is nothing wrong with a Sunday school teacher striving to have the largest Sunday school class. There is nothing wrong with the soul winner striving to lead the most souls to Christ. There is nothing wrong with the bus worker striving to build the largest bus route. However, if someone is going to be the best, they must be temperate in all things. Only a few have the character to be the best. Let me share what it takes to be a part of the few and elite.
First, it takes a desire to be the best. You can't be the best unless you strive for the mastery. In other words, nobody has ever become the best who didn't try to be the best. Only those who strive to be the best at what they do can have a chance of being the best. Nobody accidentally got to the top at what they do, but they strove to be at the top. You will never be your best for Christ if you don't strive for it.
Second, it takes a standard of excellence to be the best at what you do. Nobody has become the best at what they do without striving for excellence in everything they do. You will never be the best at what you do if you are okay with mediocrity. People who reach the top at what they do are never satisfied with being “good enough.” Those who make it to the top only accept excellence. In other words, those who make it to the top are not satisfied with winning, but they are only satisfied when they win with excellence. Those who make it to the top may win, but if they win sloppily, they feel they have lost because they didn't achieve their standard of excellence. You will never be the best at anything you do if your standard is anything less than a standard of excellence.
Third, you must be temperate in all things to be the best at what you do. The best realize they must sacrifice certain things to be the best. There are times you will have to tell yourself “no” if you will be the best at what you do. You must live a disciplined life if you are going to be the best. The best will restrain themselves from doing anything that would keep them from becoming the best at what they do. You cannot lack self-control and achieve a standard of excellence.
My friend, you ought to strive to be the best. To strive for anything less than the best should be unacceptable. However, you must set your standard and be temperate with your life if you will achieve this goal of being the best at what you do. If you achieve the best, you will find yourself in an elite crowd of the few, for only a few make it to the top.