We all want to experience the best in our lives. We want the best food , the best gadget ,the best service. We all want to experience the best and also be the best experience for those around us. So for the world we want to be perfect in what we are and what we do.
Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
Yes even God wants us to pursue excellence in our relationship with him. But this excellence must be rightly motivated by values and motives and led by spiritual maturity.
Wow this is going to be tough right? Not quite if we remove some misgivings about excelling…
Excellence is not about being perfect but striving for it.
The dictionary says “Excellence” is to be outstanding i.e. to standout or be superior. This seems to be competition, however excellence does not compare itself to others. Excellence for God is about giving your best effort or giving your all. We can never reach perfection but we seek to do more each day, and we do it with the spiritual maturity granted by the Lord “let endurance have its full effect that you may be mature and complete”
Excellence is not an instant transformation
Excellence is always growing and always learning. It is small steps taken diligently everyday to improve and strive for His maturity and understanding. Remember it is the grace of God that we rely on , not our own efforts.
So what is excellence? How do we Christians be excellent in all aspects of our lives?
Excellence is from the heart
We can be the best but without our love striving for the same it means nothing. We are called to be excellent because God is excellent in our lives due to his love for us. We are his beloved, and that is why he loves us. Jer 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness”. This is the love we reciprocate with our heart, mind and soul. We also love God by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Excellence entails humility
Excellence will not be reached without humility. Galatians 6:3 “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” The greatest downfall of all is arrogance, a perception of superiority. Only through the grace of God and recognition of the fact that we can do nothing apart from Christ can we succeed in the pursuit of excellence. It is the promise of God that in true humility is where we find our glory. James 4:10 says “Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up”
Be Excellent only for God
Cor 10:23 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God”. So in everything we do the crux of the matter is that that we do it to honor him. Doing this free’s us of any burdens, expectations and wordly benchmarks. Our personal glory taking a backseat clears our vision and provides us a freedom. As this is true love that liberates us from tiresome game set by the world.
Our God is more interested in who we are rather than what we are. Your status , job, spouse, house or wealth is not important to the one who loves you the most. All the achievements we have is because of who we are, created by him for a purpose to be happy in him. Our excellence comes from our love for him, and this extraordinariness that comes through our love for him allows us to be excellent in the deeds we perform for his glory. This inturn reflects in success out dedication to him shown in our careers, relationships and service to Him. All the Saints pursued excellence because it is for God. They strive to be the best not for themselves but for God. At the end of the day as we pursue excellence may we say “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the greater glory of God)”