We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
Everything in and around us begs for us to choose quantity over quality. Which is a stark contradiction of what we are taught within the scriptures. We are to strive for excellence in everything we do, and sometimes that means saying yes to less. I have always appreciated the status quote ‘quality over quantity’ and have applied it to different parts of my life for many years. One of my personal examples of this is the purchase of a coat. when I am purchasing a coat I choose a durable, high-quality jacket over a few cheaply made ones that may come apart at the seams or zippers, even though owning a variety of colors/styles may sound great, in the end they fall apart and use space in the closet waiting to be mended. Which then in turn is a hindrance and becomes an inconvenience. The cost of the well-made coat may be steep as a one-time purchase, but it will far outweigh the life of the other coats made with cheap and inexpensive materials that were never designed for the practical everyday use. It has always been easy for me to choose quality over quantity when it comes to material things. Even applying it to friendships and those who are a part of my everyday life I have used this mantra with; having chosen people who I have the time and energy to pour into a relationship, creating a life-long friendship that can pass the test of time. I have come to realize that these few things are only a small part of what it truly means to choose quality over quantity…
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17 NLT)
The Bible gives us a direct link of what it means to choose quality. The Apostle Paul traveled many places and accomplished many things beyond count in his lifetime. God used him for quality, which in the end produced quantity. The thing is however, he never brought attention to the quantity of all that he had done, but the quality of his work (I Thess. 1:2-10, Eph. 1:15-21, Phil. 1:9-11). Every work we accomplish will be judged. I am thankful to see this in a whole new light, for I want to be a God pleaser rather than a people pleaser. For God is the Quality. If I choose to try to accomplish 10 tasks, I would be graded a ‘C’ on them at best. Unless I had supernatural powers, I would never be able to give quality substance to all 10 subjects at one period of time/season. However, if I can strategically choose a handful of things to focus on and give my all to, giving my best, it would feel pretty great receiving an ‘A’ (at least for effort anyway, ha!) Honestly though, it does matter that we give our best to what has been placed in front of us. Sometimes I find I have to discern the things that are standing before me, with what is supposed to be in front of me. I try not to confuse the two. Some things are there to distract us from being fruitful. It pays off to hone in on the things that will produce quality, which then in turn yields more fruits that overflow into other areas. The enemy doesn’t want us to accomplish this, so he has provided much quantity, keeping us so busy running circles that nothing of eternal value is ever accomplished. Focusing on quality ensures that Gods will is being done. The minimalism movement (which goes directly against the grain of society, yet more and more people are feeling pulled towards) has a couple great points, one of which is how to live a more simple lifestyle with the reward of living a more quality, fulfilling life. I have yet to watch the documentary on Netflix on the minimalist’s, but I hear it’s rather good. As Aristotle once said, it takes practice to make excellence a habit and when we do something often enough it becomes a natural response. I am not one to make a “New Year’s Resolution” but rather a lifestyle resolution and this year I want to focus on quality of everything I do, from teaching my kids, my relationships with others, to my coffee (I am much obliged over this one 😉 ) as well as my family’s health and eating habits.
All in all, I am choosing to focus on one or two areas in my life at a time that I can bring more quality to, and as I practice this and put one foot in front of the other it is my hope that one day I will look back to see a quantity of many quality life choices over time.
I am looking forward to the overflowing perks of creating an environment rich in quality. Cheers to 2017!