As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.  (Psalm 42:1)

The absence of bad does not equate to good.

When sampling new cuisine, I sometimes say, “That’s not bad.” This can mean I either enjoyed it or merely tolerated it. But there is a big difference between tolerating something new and thoroughly enjoying your favorite meal. For example, I absolutely love authentic Mexican food; I tolerate Taco Bell as “not bad.”

However, in thinking “there’s nothing wrong” with something or someone, we create a value vacuum where the absence of “best” pulls in a “not bad” mentality. Considering something as not bad does not make it good. Just because there’s nothing wrong with someone does not make him or her the right or optimal choice.

Our impatience sometimes makes us settle for the most available option instead of waiting for the best. Then we justify our choices with “It’s not bad” or “There’s nothing wrong with it.” We forget that quality should never be optional.

Settling for “Not Bad” Instead of Claiming God’s “Best”

I am sometimes guilty of justifying the things God is trying to remove from my life. While I clench the “not bad” and “there’s nothing wrong with it,” He continues refining and transforming me in His effort to make me more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).

He stands before me, hands outstretched to receive from me the things that hold me back and the specific desire to which I cling (Hebrews 12:1). He awaits all the traits and habits I am “putting off” to replace them with what I am to “put on” (Ephesians 4:17-32). Out with the old, in with the new (II Corinthians 5:17).

In that newness of life, God moves me from the permissible to what is perfect. There is no mediocrity, partiality, or ambiguity with Him. He is sovereign and knows what is best. The question is: Will I accept only His best and settle for nothing less—even if what presents itself is okay, not bad, or there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it?

Never settle for less than God’s best. Never accept “not bad” when God offers “premium selection.” Instead of settling for “there’s nothing wrong with it,” wait for God to deliver His optimal choice.

Father God, I don’t want to grovel for the world’s crumbs. Create in me an intense longing, a burning desire to feast at the table of Your perfect plan.

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