“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” Chesterton
People often wonder what Chesterton meant by this. Was he advocating that poor performance is acceptable? He was not. Instead he was warning against the rise of professionalism in which there is no room for amateurs.
Many of the most important things we do in life we do as amateurs. Our roles as parents, siblings, friends and neighbors are all things we do as amateurs. The many hobbies we pursue are done as amateurs. These are all things worth doing, but not for any financial reward or public praise. We do them because of our love for the people involved and the passion we have for these things. We don’t always do these things well, but we know that it is important that we’re the ones doing them.
The Apostle Paul wrestled with his shortcomings and failures, and he begged God to remove them and wipe the slate clean. In the end, God told him “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
What Paul learned from this is that sometimes it is more important to faithfully pursue what matters most than it is to be seen as a success. We may struggle and stumble along the way, but that’s ok. God is still at work. God is at work when we devote ourselves to doing what matters most, even the times we do it badly!