Thought of the week: Quality rather than quantity

Halifax Minster
Halifax Minster

The quality of manufacture is an important factor in today’s competitive world. Industry requires that purchased products are in perfect condition. The Japanese are famed for their quality standards.

On one occasion IBM decided to have some parts manufactured in Japan as a trial project. In the specifications, they required that they would only accept three defective parts per 10,000.

When the delivery was received by IBM, there was an accompanying letter: ‘We Japanese have a hard time understanding British business practices. But the three defective parts have been included and wrapped separately. Hope this pleases you.’

The Japanese company gave IBM what they specified – three defective parts and 9,997 good parts!

I wonder how many defects we are willing to accept in our lives. Yes, I know none of us is perfect and we all fail to live up to the mark fromtime to time. Is our goal as Christians to get our ‘defects’ down to an ‘acceptable’ level, or is our goal to get rid of them altogether.

Perhaps we will never achieve that level of perfection in this life. But what is our goal? How much imperfection are we willing to tolerate before it becomes ‘unacceptable’?

There are times when we find it hard to help ourselves. We need some other source of encouragement to help us to get it right. Sometimes we need to have an example to follow: some target to achieve and someone to live up to. We have in the life of Jesus Christ the perfect example to follow. He will give us the strength and power to live good lives.

So, let us not be content to accept defects in our thoughts or actions but rather strive for that which is perfect in God’s sight.