Before the advent of McDonald’s few companies embraced or even understood the power of systems that would deliver predictable and consistent service or products. Modern assembly lines were well established during the industrial revolution, but that was manufacturing. Few had considered using such approaches to deliver something to customers on the spot. That is, until McDonald’s.
Forty years ago you could walk into any McDonald’s and be served a burger or anything other item on the menu – and it would be exactly like all the others you had ever had from any other McDonald’s. You could argue that it might not be the very best burger, but you got exactly what you expected. Predictable. Consistent. It has been the staple strategy that has served to make McDonald’s among the world’s leading fast food chains. They don’t disappoint.
There is a value to that approach. McDonald’s is living proof that you don’t have to be the best. You just have to deliver with predictable and consistent performance.
Christians don’t compare themselves with other Christians. Or worse yet, with those of the world. Christians are obligated to give God their best – not somebody else’s best.
2 Cor. 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
God has never expected more of us than we can deliver. He does, however, expect us to perform predictably and consistently. Examine the parable of the talents (Matthew 25 and Luke 19). The men were given different amounts to oversee. The man entrusted with the lowest amount was not expected to deliver beyond his ability. But he was expected to deliver what he could.
The master in the parable – analogous to God – expected the servants (that’s Christians) to perform. He anticipated that each man would deliver a return. He expected each man to be fruitful based on his abilities to serve.
Two of the three servants delivered the expected return – something predictable and consistent with their ability, as the master saw it. Each man was given a responsibility to handle rightly an amount within his ability.
1 Cor. 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
“Above that ye are able” is a theme expressed throughout the scriptures. God has never expected men to do more than they can. He does, however, expect them to do ALL that they can.
God expects things of us. He expects devotion, obedience and predictable reliability. What are we giving Him? Are we as predictable to God as McDonald’s is in giving customers burgers and fries? If not, how sad – that our lives may pale in comparison to a fast food chain. Sadder still, that we drive through any fast food chain – any chain – and we expect them to get our order correct, every single time. Too often, we don’t expect that of our own lives when it comes to serving God though.
McDonald’s serves billions of burgers. Christians serve God. Who is more consistent? Who is giving more predictable service?