Called To A Different Standard

Feb 15, 2011, Written by Sue Miley

By definition, everyone can’t be the best.

Is quality measured differently for Christians in business?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have ever read a single company mission statement that did not espouse quality products or service?  Not one!

Do you have a mission statement for your business?  Does it express that you offer the “highest quality service” or “products with the best ingredients”?

Again, by definition, everyone can’t be the best.

And then, as Christians, is best measured by our competition? Is “the world” the standard?

There Are Many Great Books and Incredible Marketing About Being Great

Seth Godin writes about “remarkable” in his book Purple Cow. He claims being boring is the real risk.  But, he doesn’t say to just change your mission statement to say you are the highest quality, unique, or different than the rest.  He says we must actually be different!

Lexus tagline for years was “The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection”.  Now their site says The Pursuit Continues and touts their newer tagline There is only one way to engineer a Lexus.  The  hard way!

We read about quality, the pursuit of quality, and that people want quality.

So we put it in our mission statement.

We Are Called To A Different Standard

As Christians in business, I think we are called to a higher standard.  We can’t just claim quality and not embody it.  The bible says that we should do everything to glorify God.  We are guided to let our “yes be yes” and our “no be no”.  Our integrity is at stake, and that is a reflection of more than just our business, but our God.

A Simple Test

Before you get defensive and claim that you do have a quality product or service, take this simple test.  You, and God, may be the only one who knows the whole truth.

Are you absolutely doing your best? Best meaning creating the most value you possibly can in your product or service?

The question isn’t whether you are working really hard or putting in tons of hours.  I am not asking if your idea is one of a kind, sound, interesting or inspiring.  You may even have many satisfied customers.

The questions is:

Are you doing your absolute best?  This, to me, is the first step.  Without it, we can’t even begin to move on to the next step of determining if our best yields the highest quality.

Think about it this way.  In Psalm 139:23, David asks:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Can you make the same request of God about the “quality” of your product or services?  If God searches, what will He find?

Do Excuses Camouflage The Truth?

If this feels a bit provocative or a bit uncomfortable, then you are probably like me and know deep down, we give lip service to high quality.

“I was planning to call you back today, but it was late before I was free.”

“I meant to send that document right after we spoke, but then became distracted.”

“I spent all week solving a major customer problem, so a few things slipped through the cracks.”

These may all be legitimate reasons, but in the end where does it leave our quality.

The Christian Challenge

I put the challenge out ….

First….for each of us to truly ask God to help us search our hearts and businesses for the true quality of what we deliver.  Let’s be honest with ourselves.

Second….if we want to embrace quality, and for our customers to recognize us as the best at whatever we do, we need a plan to create this quality.

Third….we need to set up a measurement system that will help us to determine if we are achieving our goal.

Which I believe begins with doing our own personal best!

Take the challenge with me.  Dig deep and look at your efforts and effectiveness.  It isn’t to beat yourself up or to say you aren’t worthy.

It’s the opposite.  To isolate the areas that require work and make it happen.  Because in the end, whether it is on our mission statement or not, as Christians in business, we are called to glorify God in all that we do.  It all starts and stops with this!

We are called to a different standard!

Reader Interactions


  1. Mark A. Griffin says

    Great read Sue! Wow! You sure have an awesome knack at getting right through to one’s heart! In a world so filled with rationalizations, blame games, sense of entitlement and out and out laziness, you remind us- Christians are not immune! So true, I just wonder how many of us will see our gaps- and close them.

    Blessings to you-

  2. S_Miley says

    We aren’t immune at all Mark. And I was inspired to write it because as I was discussing a shortfall with a client, in the back of my mind kept playing, is this a gap for you too!! Thank God for His Grace!

    But our part is to look at ourselves and keep running the race! Thanks for reading Mark!

  3. Cassandra Frear says

    “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. ” (1 peter 4)

    Finding my standard in God and remembering whom I serve give me both rest and inspiration.

  4. Brad Harmon says

    Okay, I’m a little wounded after reading this one, Sue. I was nodding my head in agreement with you all the way until you got to the camouflage portion. That’s when the Holy Spirit started to flood my mind with my own examples of intentions not living up to reality.

    I remember telling you a week ago that this week I would be back active at Marketplace Christianity, but here it is at the end of the week without it coming to pass. Yes, I have legitimate reasons why I didn’t have the time to get there, but you’re right – it’s impacting my integrity, my quality, and doesn’t hold up to the high standard to which we’re called.

    Thanks for this post. I needed to go from guilt to conviction. No more promises about next week. I will let my actions do the speaking instead. They always have the last word anyway.

    • S_Miley says

      Brad, One of the most difficult changes I had to make when I became a Christian was to go from guilt to conviction.
      Guilt is sort of part of the jewish heritage! But, we know guilt is wasted energy. You do a great job and I like the fact that you are always willing to look at your self and your work and do the assessment. I know that is the hard part for me.

      I just miss your posts though, so I will still look forward to new ones soon!

  5. fadzma says

    Have a great day ahead! God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” [ So that’s mean’s ? God in us!!! And thanks for this post.God will bless you always…According to his word” Zechariah 6:4 Not by might, Nor by your power but my spirit…saith the host.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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