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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is quality lost?

Today my post is on quality. What it is and whether we have given it up at the cost of just getting things done. I read numerous books, magazines, newspapers, articles on the Internet, and I wonder if mediocrity has become the norm and quality left in the gutter. I would prefer to think not, but my readings lead me to think otherwise.

I question what one is striving for in this day and age. The economy is poor, businesses lay off people right and left, but still, life moves on. But at what expense? At whose expense? Is a finished product important, is a well-made, put-together product important to the consumer ... to the buyer ... to the advertiser ... to the worker? Or did quality leave by the same door so many former colleagues have left in current and former times?

God holds us accountable ... in everything we do. As Romans 14: 12 says, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."

There is always a job to be done. Always a need to be filled. Choosing to do whatever is needed is one thing. Equally important, if not more so, is choosing to do it well, the best you know how.

Sometimes, unfortunately, that best for one is not always the best for another, nor the best in the final product produced.
The best you know how is not always good enough. Anything that is done at the expense of quality and consistency is not my idea of the best.

Perhaps we are to teach ways another could improve. Education and experience are important in accomplishing your best. Some people have not attended college and earned a degree, but that alone doesn't need to be a hindrance. If we have the desire to produce a great product, one that is well-written, and well put-together, then quality hasn't been lost.

How do you teach another to write well? How do you show someone what makes a quality product?

I earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1974 and have worked on weekly and daily newspapers most of the time since, including two years as a publisher. I learned through reading, hands-on writing, workshops, and editors instilling in me not to settle for second best, not to settle for mediocre, not to settle for just enough to get by, not to settle for just getting it done, but to do your very best. So, I will strive to do the very best I know how.

In Romans 14, the apostle Paul tells us not to judge another. Christians, just like everyone else, are at different levels in their life walk. Some are beginners, others are old-timers and still others are in between. Verse 1 says, "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things." So, I ask, even though what we do may not be the same across the board, if there is clearly nothing absolutely wrong with the process, then should we just leave it alone? We should not judge another for their inconsistencies. Verse 13 says, "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way." We should not be obnoxious when pointing out inconsistencies. We should be respectful of another in all aspects, be patient, be kind, as you go about presenting a better way.

Romans 14: 19 says, "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another."

New question -- how do we build another up to work toward and accomplish a desire for excellency? How do we get past mere work and become goal-oriented? Not just getting it done but caring about producing a quality product?

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Colossians 3: 17)

The effect of my influence on another depends on my faithfulness to the Savior, therefore, I continue to strive, if for no other reason than to glorify God and to perhaps hear Him say to me, "You have done well my child."

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Cathy. Sometimes we just "settle" to get things done. It's not the way it should be nor the way most of us were taught to do.

    Hopefully, if everyone will change their attitudes towards the things they do, maybe, just maybe we can do a better job. Baby Froggee..


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6