Every person has a standard of living. You might assume that I’m referring to money. I’m not! When I say that each of us has a standard of living, I am not referring to the quality of our house, car, clothes or even the food we eat. When I say that each of us has a standard of living, I’m referring to the quality of our character. Not what you own, but who you are. Not what you have on the outside, but what you’re like on the inside. And I’ve discovered that in life, there are three standards of living from which I can choose to live.
Some people have a standard of living called SURVIVAL. They have no loftier goal in life than to simply eek by and not die. They do the bare minimum, if that much, and rather than manage their life to GET AHEAD, they’re simply managing TO GET BY. That’s survival mode and the lowest standard of living.
Then, secondly, there’s the standard of living called SUCCESS. This is where most people want to live their life. Their goal is not SURVIVAL, but ARRIVAL. They want to arrive. They want to go somewhere, own something, do something, be somebody. That’s success mode.
And then, there’s the third and I believe highest level of living that exists. It’s called SIGNIFICANCE. There’s SURVIVAL, SUCCESS, and then thirdly, SIGNIFICANCE. Significance is not so much about what you own, but who you are. A person who’s living for significance is not concerned as much with doing good, as they are with being good. Deep down in their heart of hearts, they want more than anything to be a good person and live a good life. They want significance. They want to live a life that I call: Second-To-None.
Regardless of which mode you may personally be living on at this moment, I think all of us want to live good lives and be good people. I think all of us want to know that our life is about more than punching a time clock, having a fancy title or our own prominent parking spot.
Let me share with you 3 Principles For Living A Life That Is Second-To-None.
1. For A Life That’s Second-To-None…Go The Second Mile.
Jesus said it best: “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” – Matthew 5:41 Live a life dedicated to serving others. Always do more than is expected of you. In fact, as one wise man has said, “It’s not about meeting expectations. It’s about raising the standard!”
2. For A Life That’s Second-To-None…Give Others A Second Chance.
I love the exchange Jesus had with Peter one day: “Then came Peter to him, and said, ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven’.” – Matthew 18:21-22 Whoa! Watchu’ talkin’ about Willis? 70 times 7? I don’t believe Jesus was emphasizing the actual number but rather the spirit of forgiveness He wants His followers to exude and adopt. When we offer forgiveness, we give others a second chance. Everybody needs a second chance!
3. For A Life That’s Second-To-None…Don’t Give Quitting A Second Thought!
The writer of the book of Proverbs penned this bit of wisdom: “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” – Proverbs 24:16 People who give up are a dime-a-dozen. But people who get up are one-in-a-million. Which kind are you? Remember that even the best of us falls from time to time. That’s not the issue. What is the issue is whether you get back up and try again!