Good, better, best


As a rule, I choose not to make New Year’s resolutions, but I resolve to make each year the best year of my life. I try to follow the admonition I give to the writing students whom I teach, but at the same time this motto can be applied to athletics and to any endeavor:

Good, better, best

Never let it rest

Until your good is better

And your better is best.

In my classes I provide an illustration of this motto in action as I play “the death crawl” scene from “Facing the Giants.” Here we have a coach asking one of his players to “give him his best.” That’s really all that anyone can ask of another person. Even so, as the player-coach that I am, all I am asking of my students—“Give me your best.” After viewing the video, I ask the students to see its personal application to the class and beyond.

In light of the class motto, let us look for a moment at the adjective “good.” The word good is derived from “God” who alone is good. Indeed, Jesus Christ said, “There is none good but the Father.”  Good is an adjective, and an adjective has a comparative form and a superlative form; however, with God there is no comparative nor superlative.  No, God has not seen “better” days, and certainly God does not have the “best” day He’s had in a long time in comparison to others. With God every day is a “Good News Day” because “God is good.” Period! Because God is good, “. . . all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28—my favorite verse in the whole Bible) So no matter how bad the situation may appear to be, it will work together for the good.

We proclaim with the Psalmist:

“O, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that puts his trust in Him.”

“For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.”

As the New Year continues to unfold, we can strive to apply the class motto, not only to the classes that we take or teach but to every aspect of our lives. Our underlying motivation should be our desire to express to God our gratitude for all that He has done for us through Christ Jesus, His Son. In this case, the least that we can do is give him our best. Like the coach in “Facing the Giants” that’s all that God is asking of us. And this should be our response.

We close with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, as they sing: “Giving My Best to You Lord.”


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