day 2587: Percentage Of What?

“Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.”

I read some statistics in Business Week that the percentage of the U.S. Federal Government spending on salaries of federal workers fell to 6.4% of GDP in the third quarter of 2018.  That was below the average that was 10.1% in the 80’s and 14.8% in the 50’s.  On the surface that looks like greater productivity and a good thing.  But, when you get under the numbers the spending has nearly doubled since 1984, and the lower percentages is because the GDP has grown so significantly in the same period.  Is that good news, or bad?  Well, it’s all in how you want to interpret what is too large of a percentage of what?  We run into this problem all the time with growth in our businesses. Spending as an absolute is up, but as a percentage of sales or growth it is flat or down.  How we see the glass is always situational but the most important thing we can do is to be sure we zoom out, take the long view from the past to where we are now in order to contextualize whatever it is that we are doing as a percentage of what we have still in front of us.

This past weekend, Luis Menjivar, an Associate Pastor at our church reminded us in his message that Jesus never played the percentage game.  Like He did with His disciples, He accepted them all, even when He knew that 8.33% of the team was going to betray Him and hatch the plot that would bring Him to His earthly death.  Just as God doesn’t turn His back on us as He measure what percentage of people follow Him, He also accepts that as much as we may want to give all that we have to Him, we will always come up short. It’s been said that God grieves for those who are His creations who decide to not follow Him.  As it would any parent, to have our children turn their back on what is right, there would be that pain.  But, our God is pure love and instead of punishing us for not giving 100% to Him all the time, He loves us for what we are trying to give and always wants to be there 100% for us!  That is a wonderful percentage!

Reference John 6:70 (New Living Translation)


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