Ty Cobb, an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, has the best hitting percentage of all time at .366. Ted Williams, an out-fielder for the Boston Red Sox, has the best on-base percentage of all time at .482. Think about those statistics: the best hitter in baseball failed 64% of the time and the best all-around player failed to reach base more than 50% of the time. What does this mean? The best baseball hitters fail nearly 70% of the time at the plate. All the other players know this, so when a great hitter strikes out, there is grace shown in the dugout. Reggie Jackson, who is considered one of the best home run hitters of all time, struck out 25% of the time. For every four at bats, Reggie Jackson struck out. Ponder this question, why do we expect the people around us to bat 1000?
Every human being, except for one, is not perfect nor will ever be perfect. The bottom line is one can strive to be perfect, but in the end it will never happen. How we deal with failing is what is important. Life is about successfully dealing with failure. It is about getting up off the ground, dusting oneself off and getting back to the task.
Properly applying lessons learned from failure is a key element to our success. This is true in our day-to-day challenges, but it is especially true if we want consistent growth in our Christian life. The ultimate goal is to allow Jesus to live His life through us.
Striving for perfection is not going to happen, so what we need to do is strive for excellence. To strive for excellence means to do our best, and to be content to leave the rest for God. To be perfectionistic means that we are not ever truly satisfied with the results of something that we do. To strive for excellence means to live at peace with God, knowing that we are giving our best efforts with His help. To be perfectionistic means to live anxiously, always worrying about the flaws in what we are doing or have done. To strive for excellence means to use our gifts to the best of our ability, but ultimately building people up first. To be perfectionistic means sometimes, perhaps often, people are relegated to a lower place than the details of what we are doing. To strive for excellence means to humbly depend on God for our abilities, strength, and results, and to give Him glory. To be perfectionistic means to begin to believe that we are responsible for our own gifts and successes, that we are self-sufficient.
As we move forward, though it is extremely difficult at times, we should make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive any-one who offends us. Remember Paul’s words in Colossians 3:13: "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Life is so much better under grace. Relationships improve when we make allowance for faults and failures in others. This is not a "nobody’s perfect, so go ahead and sin" message. This is a "nobody’s perfect, everybody needs grace, and God offers forgiveness and so should we" message.
"Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:25-32.
Remember when Miguel Cabrera, a career .320 hitter, strikes out with the bases loaded in the bottom of ninth, he also deserves grace. He knows what he did wrong, and because he is so consistent, he will train harder, work on his flaws, and strive to be excellent. We need to build up each other knowing not everyone is perfect. Forgive as God forgave you.