If 99.9% Were Good Enough


I was cleaning out old stuff in my cubicle yesterday to get prepared for the new year when I came across an attention getter I used to use. You may or may not have seen it, but I’ll share some of it anyway. It’s called “If 99.9% Were Good Enough”. I used it in class to help front line employees know that even small margins of errors can have huge impacts on the business. Here are a few of the more notable ones:

If 99.9% were good enough
– 12 babies would be given to the wrong parents each day
– 268,500 defective tires would be shipped this year
– 14,208 defective computers would be shipped this year
– 2,488,200 books would be shipped with the wrong cover
– 5,517,200 cases of soft drinks would be flat
– 18,323 pieces of mail would be mishandled in the next hour
– 107 incorrect medical procedures would be performed today

What if you could live right 99.9% of the time. Would that be good enough to get to Heaven? Romans 3:10 says that there is no one who is righteous, no, not one. Later on in verse 23, it says that all have sinned and fallen short. Apparently 99.9% isn’t good enough. We all fall short of righteous living. Does that mean that we shouldn’t try? Of course not. Titus 2:12 says that “we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God.”

Just because we are unable to live right doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I was talking to a friend yesterday about an old group of friends I used to have. We called ourselves “Heathens Anonymous”. The concept was simple, but fun. Each of us are born with a sinful nature in us. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior it doesn’t mean that we all of a sudden live perfectly. That sinful (heathenistic) nature still lives in us. Just like an alcoholic becomes a recovering alcoholic, we become recovering heathen.

We still fall prey to our fleshly desires from time to time. We should try to refrain from our old way of living as much as possible. According to James our faith without works is dead. In Romans 4:5 it tells us to be careful though. We are not counted as righteous because of our works, but because of God who forgives us. It is His grace that covers our sins especially when our old sinful nature rears its head. Ephesians 2:8,9 says that we are saved by grace and not works so that no one can boast.

Wherever you find yourself from 99.9% down to 0.1% in living right, when you accept Jesus, His grace makes up the difference to get us to 100%! The older I get, the more appreciative I am of His grace. I rely on it, need it and trust in it. I’m not perfect. I’ll still be a recovering heathen as long as I live. There’s one thing I know though, His grace is sufficient to cover my mistakes and short comings. It’s sufficient enough for yours too.

1 Comment

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One response to “If 99.9% Were Good Enough

  1. Love the 99.9% and the examples of the .1%. It really helps put things into perspective. Thankfully His grace is enough for all of us. Thanks for sharing.

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