Why is it so many of us are willing to live in mediocrity? That’s the question I’m addressing here and, believe me, I get these answers by looking at my own life and seeing from God’s perspective why I am often so lukewarm and willing to stay that way.

First, to excel and be all that God can empower you to be takes effort and discipline. None of us will ever be anything but mediocre until we’re willing to work hard and live a disciplined life. Many times it will mean saying “No” to some things you like to do, or to a lifestyle you find comfortable. Mediocre people are usually pretty comfortable. They’ve found a nice little rut, and to get out of that rut would take some effort. Thus, one reason many are willing to live in mediocrity is that it’s easy to live that way.

Secondly, there’s no risk in living a mediocre life. Most everyone you know is in the same kind of lukewarm condition so you’re not going to be noticed or singled out very much when you’re mediocre. But when you start to live a life of excellence, you may fail in some of your extra-mile efforts; people may laugh at you. Or worse still, they may take “pot shots” at you. People don’t often criticize mediocre people; what’s to criticize? They’re not making much happen, so they make no waves, take fewer risks, get less criticism, and have fewer failures. Living lives of excellence means being vulnerable and taking risks.

Thirdly, when you live in lukewarmness, you avoid added responsibility. Whenever you aspire to live in the “hot zone” rather than lukewarm, you can count on having more responsibility. More is expected of you; more depends on you. It’s not easy to run away or play hooky, because you’ve made commitments and you are responsible. Staying mediocre means you aren’t going to be held responsible for lots of things; therefore, life is easier that way.

Finally, some are staying in that mediocre condition because they simply have never even imagined they could be anything more. Could it be that you’ve never had a vision of what it would mean to live above lukewarmness because you’ve seen so little of it in others, or you’ve just assumed it’s for other people, not for you? Is your understanding of who you are in Christ so poor that you have no idea of what God could and would do through you if you were willing?

Ask yourself what areas of your life are “just okay”—not a horrible mess but far less than what you could be through the power of Jesus Christ. God says he would rather you be cold than lukewarm.