The Curse of Mediocrity

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The curse of mediocrity has infested the Western Church. Instead of blazing a trail of fire for the sake of the Kingdom, or even disappearing from the scene with cold hearts, we do just enough to let people know we’re still around, but never enough to make a difference. It’s disgusting to me in my own life and it’s intolerable for Jesus (Revelation 3:15-16). I learned the word mediocre has its origin in two Latin words which, translated literally, mean “halfway to the peak.” Half-way. Unfinished. Lazy. Uncommitted. This is the curse of mediocrity.

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A.W. Tozer noted of the origin of the word mediocre: “This makes it an apt description of the progress of many Christians. They are halfway up to the peak…. They are morally above the hardened sinner but they are spiritually beneath the shining saint…. Do we really think that this halfway Christian life is the best that Christ offers—the best that we can know? In the face of what Christ offers us, how can we settle for so little?”


All the power and authority of Christ has been granted to us (Luke 10:19). Can you imagine Jesus living such a pathetic life as we do? We have the same power, the same authority, and the same mission Jesus did. He made His life count. He did astounding miracles. You never saw Jesus miss an opportunity to love someone in need, or to rebuke someone who opposed His Kingdom. Jesus did not run cold or lukewarm at any point. He only knew one temperature, which was the burning heat of holiness. He is our example. His temperature is the one against we should all be measuring ourselves.

Many use the cop-out of, “Yes, but He was God. If I were God, I’d do those things as well.” Sorry to burst your excuse wide open, but Jesus gave you every ounce of His authority and power. You can absolutely do everything He did (John 14:12). Our problem is we lack both the faith and the will to demonstrate this power and authority in our own lives. We’re happier being lukewarm than blazing hot. The curse of mediocrity has been in our bloodstream so long we don’t know how to be any other way.

It’s time to inoculate ourselves against the mediocrity in our systems. Having all the power and authority of Jesus, there is no excuse for us to wallow in mediocrity any longer. Jesus was not mediocre. Neither should we be. We have every opportunity to live like Jesus. We must simply choose to do so every day. The choice is ours. The power to live out this choice is also ours. We truly are without excuse.

The curse of mediocrity is a heinous offense in the eyes of God. He has given us everything we need to carry out His will, yet we squander it every day. We don’t make use of His power because we are too lazy to do so. We are not victorious because it would take too much time and effort on our part. We can’t stay in the land of the lukewarm. Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15). Either reject Christ outright or devote your life to being obedient to Him. Don’t get caught in the middle. Don’t let yourself become trapped in the curse of mediocrity. Burn hot for Jesus. It’s the only way to live.