Seth Godin is a business guru. I like what he said below about those who raise the bar of performance. He's talking about the business world, but what if we applied it to our faith?
Some people I know work hard to lower the bar at work.
That was my strategy at gym class in high school. Not only did I do the minimum amount permitted, I worked hard to do just a little bit less than that. By the time the semester was over, the teacher was relieved if I even bothered to show up at all.
Most people seek to meet the bar. They figure out what's expected, and do that.
A few people, very few, work to relentlessly raise the bar. She's the one who overdelivers on projects, shows up ahead of schedule, instigates, suggests and pushes.
Raising the bar is exhausting, no doubt about it. I'm not sure the people who engage in this apparently reckless behavior would have it any other way, though. They get to experience a fundamentally different day, a different journey and a different reputation than everyone else.
It seems like many today, in the name of "grace", want to lower the bar spiritually. But I don't see us doing the "greater things" that Jesus promised by lowering the bar. What if we trusted in the power and goodness of God to do great things - amazing things - in and through us rather than merely scraping by and then sheepishly smiling as we point to God's grace for our excuse? Grace means "gift". God graces us with forgiveness but he also graces us with the ability to do things we never thought possible. Let's raise the bar. Jesus did.