Excellence in the Public Square

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

 
Misspelled Virginia.jpg
 
Picture from the Associated Press
 
 
 
Look closely at the picture and see if you can find something wrong. Hint: what state became the 35th state to enter into the Union in 1863?

Yup, that is correct – West V-I-R-G-I-N-A

After the West Virginia Mountaineers won 78-73 over Clemson in their first NIT title in 65 years, they wore their championship t-shirt proudly. But the problem was that there was a typo –it says, “West Virgina” instead of “West Virginia”… they forgot to up the letter “i” after the letter “n.” You know it is not a good situation when people are now making sarcastic remarks about West Virginians.

No big deal, right? We all make mistakes, right? To err is human, right?

Well… I think it would have been “ok” if it was a family thing and only a handful of people saw the mistake. But hello, this is national T.V. and now public news. I am wondering if the problem goes beyond just the person who misspelled “Virginia” (supposedly it was someone from the NIT committee). The snowball effect is affecting the image of West Virginia University and even the people of West Virginia.

How can this be huh? Just from one typo?!

Yes, it is all about perception.

At first I was like, “what’s the big deal?” I don’t know how many times I have misspelled words (I am double checking right now on this entry) and even made a lot of blunders along the way – ask my wife or even my church members. We just need to give grace along the way.

But on the other hand, this is a good lesson on excellence. I am wondering how people view Christ and even the Church when we fail to do things with excellence. I understand that whenever I talk about excellence, people think I am just addressing the issues of presentational things, but I fully acknowledge that the meaning is vast. We must be “excellent” in building biblical community, studying, praying, etc. and not just in music, website, publications, etc.

But whether we like it or not, the way we do things (which entails representing Christ in the things that we present) will give a certain image or perception to people, especially those who are not yet in the family of God.

We just don’t want to add to people’s stereotypes. Let’s us not give people another reason for people to reject Christ. It is my prayer that people at HMCC will be able to do things with the highest standards because we don’t want people to be hindered or repelled from see Christ.

The American Dictionary defines something that is excellent as, “of the highest or finest quality; exceptionally good of its kind.” The eternal life that God gives is excellent – one of a kind. Therefore, we should display it boldly in every avenue that God gives us – even on t-shirts.

You can read the article here.