Faith Matters

Excellence

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I have always believed in the power of excellence. As a business major in college, I quickly learned that excellence is a key ingredient in gaining a competitive advantage. Businesses that are excellent in what they do are better positioned to edge out their competitors and garner positive returns.

Pursuing excellence also promotes putting your best foot forward, not cutting corners, and doing things right the first time. This attitude can have positive returns both personally and professionally.

Lately, I have been asking myself, “What does God say about excellence? Is this a standard that I hold for myself or is there biblical truth to pursuing excellence?” I believe the answer is yes. God very clearly states in scripture that excellence is of the utmost importance.

Matthew 22:37-38 says, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment.”

1 Corinthians 10:31-32 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”

Philippians 1:9-10 says, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,”

All three of these verses highlight the importance of excellence. As one online source puts it, “From these verses, it should be clear that God wants His people to abound or excel in both what they are (inward character) and in what they do (behavior or good deeds). It would seem obvious that there is simply no way one can love God with all his heart (Matt. 22:37) without seeking to do his or her best to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Since that is so, the pursuit of excellence is both a goal and a mark of spiritual maturity” (Bible.org).

Our behaviors and attitudes can point people to Jesus or they can turn people away.

How do you approach your responsibilities? Excellence says that we behave respectfully, treat others the way we want to be treated, and contribute towards a positive work environment. Excellence says that you are allowed to have bad days, but you don’t bring others down with you. Excellence says that we are “wholehearted” when we could choose to be “halfhearted.” According to Paul, anything that we do is an opportunity to practice excellence, and in doing so, we glorify God.

Finally, pursuing excellence requires keeping an eternal perspective. An eternal perspective is recognizing that we may not see the benefits of pursuing excellence on this side of Heaven, but the treasures we accumulate in Heaven far outweigh the recognition on earth. Pursuing excellence in our relationships, our jobs, and our everyday lives is glorifying to God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states, “Man’s chief end to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Glorifying God leads to greater enjoyment and satisfaction because we know we are acting within God’s will and purpose for our lives.

To God be the glory!

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