#1. Do Your Best
We have all heard this phrase at one time or another and while at times it can be sage advice as all we can do in certain circumstances is our best, it can also be a very destructive and lazy ideology.
These words become sage advice when after giving good instruction to someone, who just can’t learn how to master what they are trying to do so the instructor throws up their hands and exclaims, ‘just do your best.’ In other words the person being told this is not grasping the finer details of the action at hand and the only thing they can do is their best and then hope for the best/
But this ideology becomes destructive when it permits a person to be lazy, incompetent and avoid learning. The laziness aspect is on the instructor’s side as well as they do not want to get involved and provide proper guidance to another person. They do not want to give them the instruction they need in order to master the task at hand and this laziness allows for incompetency to rule not skill or proper knowledge.
The ‘do your best’ ideology also encourages students to avoid learning the right and wrong ways of doing something. They do not have standards to follow except do their best effort even if it is wrong and error-prone. This ‘encouragement’ allows for people to avoid growing as it gives them a false sense of achievement. It also leaves them with no real direction to follow
When this happens then the person is left vulnerable to ridicule, teasing and bullying as they show to everyone that they do not know what they are doing and are stumbling around in the dark lost.
Believers need to remember that ‘do your best’ is not a biblical instruction or teaching. God’s words in Timothy tell us to study and other verses tell us to educate and be educated. These instructions are not placed in the Bible because nothing better would fit God’s theme.They are there because while God wants us to do our best, he knows that to accomplish that goal we need to be properly trained, properly educated, properly guided and given the proper direction. Laziness, ignorance and incompetence is not part of God’s kingdom.
He also does not want to leave us vulnerable to ridicule, teasing and bullying so he knows that we need to receive the right instruction so that we know what we are doing, that we know what we are talking about and that we can bring honor, not shame, to the cause of Christ and to Christ himself. Once properly trained and we have the knowledge that we need and how to properly implement that knowledge, we then can go out and really do our best.
#2. All’s fair in love and war
We have also heard this phrase spoken many times throughout our lives and usually by those who are very selfish and want to control and possess people we may cherish. Again, this phrase has no biblical foundation as it removes all ethical guidelines from both activities and basically says ‘anything goes.’ God doesn’t see it that way as he has not made an exception to his rules for these two pursuits.
In war we need to be as godly as we are in peace and do unto others as we would like to have done unto us. While we fight to protect our loved ones and nation we do not resort to those tactics that are evil. We do not fight fire with fire (another non-biblical ideology) as the Bible provides for us clear rules of engagement, even to the point where we give shelter and aid to the enemy.
When it comes to love this phrase can be used to justify hindering someone we do not like or think is deserving of the person they should be with and as an excuse to steer our friends to more ‘favorable’ mates. Love has rules but it is not a competition, it is not a battle, it is not something that is trivial or subject to ‘may the best man win’ mentality.
Too often we treat romantic love as a game and interfere far too much in the lives of those who are in love which undermines what God has planned for those two people. Too often we bring discouragement, ‘there are other fish in the sea’ or ‘don’t lock yourself in to one person too early check out what is available’ and on it goes. We may have good intentions with using those ideas, as we want people to avoid our mistakes but they may not be making a mistake and God may want them to be together, even early in their lives for his purpose.
Most people do not check with God before they move to ruin a budding romance. They rely too much on their own understanding and ignore the spiritual reasons why a couple should be together.
One of the dangers of the ‘all is fair’ mentality is that it opens the door for people to ‘move in’ on a married couple and target one spouse, and getting them to divorce their mate simply because the first person wants to be with the husband or wife. We make relationships, marriages vulnerable to destruction by using this secular way of thinking. Marriage loses its sacredness with this mentality.
A man and woman are not a prize to possess nor a goal to be achieved and romance is not trivial but sadly with the trend to pursue evil, the purpose of romance, real love and marriage are eradicated and all meaning of being together is lost.
Christians need to be careful in this area and while there are dangers to avoid and we can warn about those dangers we do not adopt secular ideology and make it our central counseling theme. We need to be wise, understanding, honest, caring and other biblical traits as well as look for God in the mix so we do not interfere with his plans for the couple.
We may not understand right away why God wants two people placed together but in time we will if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when we get involved with the lives of others. We need to be spiritual and let the world see that ‘all is fair’ is not the right way to go and that there is a better way to live.