day 3K346: Efficacy versus Effectiveness

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

In the world of life sciences, biotech and Pharma the terms efficacy and effectiveness are thrown around all the time.  To the lay person they mean the same, but they are very different.  Efficacy means how well something works when under a controlled set of conditions and all of the participants perform or adhere to the situation consistently and perfectly.  Think of the lab rats that are given something to eat everything being the same each and every time.  Effectiveness though is all together different.  Effectiveness is how well something works under natural conditions when participants are able to make their own choice about how compliant they want to be with all the freedoms that come from different factors of lifestyle.  Too many times we think we will get a high level of effectiveness because we assume and operate as if we have efficacy and when things go wrong we have to backtrack to find out that we totally missed how humans and real life can mess things up.  I was boarding an airplane this week and thinking about this.  The airlines must have some formula for how long it takes to board an airplane effectively.  But, maybe they don’t, as most of the boarding windows are the same even though passenger load, number of people needing wheelchairs or assistance, number of bags, who walks slowly, who is talking on their phones, who can’t lift their bags into the overhead compartments without help, how many times does the person in the aisle have to get up and move aside to let someone else get into their seats, etc. are all unknown variables and unpredictable.  Could it be that they plan for efficacy but end up with an unknown level of effectiveness? What desires outcomes and plans do we have that we might have mixed up efficacy with effectiveness?

God built the world far from efficacy.  He knew we would mess it up and make the lives we live as about as random as they can be.  But, at the same time He installed perfection through Jesus into the equation and challenged us to be like Him! Heaven will have 100% efficacy but in the meantime we should be wanting to work and live with Jesus as the control that we reference and come back to daily so that we can be as close to His efficacy as possible.

Reference:  Romans 3:23 (New Living Translation)

PS: This being September 11th, a solemn day, let us remember and lift up in prayer the families of those lost on that day and also take a moment to be grateful for the freedoms we have and pray for those in leadership that we may have a peaceful existence in our country.