I live in a town with no great pizza places. In fact, we only really have two. Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Typical fast food chain fare.
I’ve had better pizza. Much better. And when I moved here, I cried out for something good. Some independent place. Some New York style. Heck, even some Papa John’s. Anything but Pizza Hut and Domino’s.
I hated these two places. The rubbery cheese. The greasy crust. The over-reliance on garlic to cover up the bland pepperoni. The shame of eating every last crumb of an entire large pizza by yourself, even though you hated every bite of it.
But as the years passed, I continued to eat it. Because mediocre pizza beats the best salad any day.
And over time, I began to enjoy it more. The more I had it, the more I settled for it, the more I grew to like it. I started falling in love with this pizza.
Pizza Hut was introducing new flavors and toppings a few years ago. I went online to try and find reviews of the new stuff. No direct review, but a few comments I read all had the same message:
“Why on earth would you eat Pizza Hut? After eating pizza in New York, I would never touch Pizza Hut pizza, if you can even call it that! Yuck!”
And I got offended.
“Hey! That’s the only pizza I eat anymore!” I yelled back to this anonymous person I’ve never met (in my head of course). “You’re being a pizza snob!”
But I came to the realization that the only reason I like Pizza Hut or Domino’s now is because I have no other options. I’ve lowered my standards of pizza.
This scared me. What other areas of my life have I let my standards slip?
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” -1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
This verse doesn’t necessarily apply to just friends. Anything that you let yourself experience regularly that is out of sync with your faith will have a negative impact on you.
Remember that song “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns from that Kirk Cameron movie where he played a jerk but you couldn’t take him seriously because he’s just so darn cute when he’s angry?
Sorry, that got away from me.
The song was talking about how people don’t make their biggest mistakes out of nowhere. It comes from compromising your morality a tiny bit at a time. Little by little, to where you may not even realize you are doing it.
And when you finally DO realize it, you are so far deep, you may feel trapped. Or worse, you may feel fine with it. It may be your new normal. You’ve convinced yourself it’s okay, little by little, and now you don’t think you have a problem.
And suddenly, you’re an alcoholic. Suddenly, you’re having an affair. Suddenly, you’re 100 pounds overweight. Suddenly, you’re buried in debt. Suddenly, you realize you’ve been unhappy this whole time, but you’ve let yourself slip because you surrounded yourself with mediocrity instead of living life to its righteous fullness.
God has so much more in store for you than this. He has a plan for your life, but you have to accept it. And it might not be an easy life. You might not be rich or successful by this world’s standards. You might not own a nation-wide chain of pizza places.
But what you will have is satisfaction. You’re life will be more than you ever dreamed it could be. But only if you stop settling.
Don’t settle for the mediocre.
Don’t lower your standards so much that you’re devoted to garbage.
Don’t fall in love with crappy pizza.