Mediocre Is Failure

1 Chronicles 4:9

Go beyond average with great ambitions.

In my Composition I class, I ask each student to formulate a goal that can be achieved during the course of the semester. Each of the papers during the term will be based in some way on that goal, but my favorite part of this approach is to listen to the various goals that students concoct.

About a year ago, a guy presented this goal to the class: “My goal is to attend 70% of my classes this semester.” I probably stood there, listening, with my mouth hanging open. 70%? Really?

Let’s do the math. A typical three-hour class meets three times a week for 16 weeks. That’s 48 total meetings. This character could, therefore, notch 14 absences, the equivalent of nearly five weeks of the semester, and still achieve his goal. Looking at it another way, a 70% attendance is just slightly north of two-thirds. Does he think that he’ll be able to go to work 70% of the time and keep his job?

This guy’s goal suffered from a nearly fatal lack of ambition, and here’s the funny thing. He didn’t succeed in attending that much. He started missing early on and before long had to drop the class.

God does not want us to aim low. With His “riches in glory” at our disposal, we need to aim high.

  • Do you have a tendency to be ambitious or unambitious? What are some examples?
  • When was the last time that you set some goal for yourself but animated it with the wrong motives?
  • Ask God to show you the high achievements to which you should be striving.
About the Author

Mark Browning

Connection Point Member
Mark Browning is an English professor at Johnson County Community College. Mark also writes curriculum for LifeWay Resources and Connection Point Church. Visit Mark's personal blog at