Pursuing excellence

How many times have we done something to the best of our ability and when finished, had the feeling of great accomplishment?  But, then we move in mediocrity in other pursuits, behaviors, and actions.  This pattern of doing things is the opposite of excellence.  Instead, excellence should be nuanced by consistency.  We could also look at the this as whole-life stewardship.  There are a few Scriptures that speak to this level of consistency…

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:7-9

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” – Colossians 3:23

“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” – Titus 2:7-8

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” – Matthew 5:37

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16

Each of these passages of Scripture speaks to the need for consistency, which in turn, leads to the type of excellence believers need.  Why is excellence important to Christians?  In my opinion, consistent commitment and delivery to do the best they can gives credibility.  Credibility gives way to believability and dependability.  If you are consistent in your actions and words, it is easier and more sensible to trust you.

How do we gain an excellent spirit (Daniel 6:3)?

  • Punctuality – show up on time (even early) and not late.  Constantly arriving late to church and other life events only builds up the mentality in others that we are not dependable to be there when we need to be.
  • Responsibility – Performing our daily duties, tasks, and roles with an attitude of joy and seriousness only compound into a life characterized by excellence.  Taking responsibility for actions shows that we understand the repercussions of our actions and inaction.
  • Finances – There are not many areas like finances, where a lack of discipline makes such a great impact.  Inconsistent budgeting and stewardship in this area leads to all kinds of headaches and negatively affects what a person can do.
  • Behavior – Moodiness and an unpredictable nature will make others uneasy.  Decreasing our credibility and even our dependability.
  • Spiritual Disciplines – Prayer, reading the Bible, attending worship and congregational activities, fasting, and a whole bunch of other spiritual disciplines is great.  None of them will become strong proponents in our life if not practiced with consistency.  These disciplines that God uses to pour his grace into our lives will not change us when we only pursue them in heightened moments of spirituality.  They are daily and weekly practices that need a consistent pattern to become beneficial.
  • Values and Morals – In our current society, it is nothing new to hear someone say that their views have changed.  It is important that they continually line up our lifestyle and convictions to the Word of God and to change them according to society.  We need to know our boundaries and keep them.