“99.9% Effort”

When we spend time reading and studying Scripture, we have to be impressed with the fact that God wants our “all” — a 100% dedicated effort to Him (Romans 12:1-2)! We see this when we read that those in Smyrna were promised the crown of life if they would be “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10). When writing to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul told them to “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). In both verses, we see emphasis placed on giving God our all as His children.

But what if we give less than our all? How will that affect us spiritually? Perhaps instead of 100%, we are tempted to offer 80% or 90%? What if someone is very ambitious and says, “I’ll give 99.9% to God, but not the full 100%”? Would this be acceptable? Below is a listing I found that catalogs how our lives would be affected if men settled for 99.9%. Please read the following, and then you figure out if 99.9% is “good enough.” If men settle for 99.9% in their efforts in society …

  • Twelve newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
  • 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped each year.
  • 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled every hour.
  • Two million documents will be lost by the IRS this year.
  • 2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.
  • Two planes landing at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport will have unsafe landings every day.
  • 315 entries in Webster’s Dictionary will be misspelled.
  • 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written this year.
  • 880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips.
  • 103,260 income tax returns will be processed incorrectly during the year.
  • 5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced will be flat.
  • 291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly.
  • 3,056 copies of tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal will be missing one of the three sections.

Facts like the above are unacceptable in modern life, aren’t they? 99.9% effort is not enough in business, transportation, medical care, or anywhere else is it? If we can appreciate these facts in our earth-life, how much more then should we see the need for expending 100% effort in our spiritual lives?

Read the following verses, and notice what they have in common:

  • Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
  • Matthew 7:21: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
  • Hebrews 5:8-9: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

None of these passages allow for partial commitment or half-hearted effort! After all Christ has done for us, how can we do any less? Indeed, He gave His all for us. He loves us whole-heartedly and has sacrificed to the greatest degree. Friend, are you giving 100% to the Lord? If not, why not?

Adapted from Jarrod M. Jacobs