Be excellent ∙
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself using his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. – 2 Peter 1:3-4
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart . . .
8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.
10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
What is excellence? Excellence is a talent or quality which is unusually good and surpasses ordinary standards. “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way” (Booker T. Washington).
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well” (Martin Luther King Jr.).
When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Father adopts us as His dear children into His Forever Family. It does not matter what has come before. All things have been forgiven and washed clean. We begin a new journey in life. Our goal is to seek to know our new Father and please and honor Him with our lives.
Every child of the King should aspire and set as their goal excellence. Why? Because the Father is excellent. He is excellent in all that He is and all that He does. Excellence is part of the essence, nature, and character of the Father.
Psalms 150:2 Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
We are to praise Him according to His excellent greatness (Psalms 150:2). His excellent greatness is the why of our praise and worship. The phrase excellent greatness could be translated unequaled greatness, surpassing greatness, absolute greatness. No one is so magnificent, so wonderful as the Father (John G. Butler)
The Hebrew word translated excellent is rov. It means plentiful, abundant, much, many, great. It is a term of superlative magnitude. Our motivation as children of the King is to follow after HHHHim and aspire to superlative excellence.
The Father is faithful to finish what He starts. Once we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Father begins work of sanctification. We are to aim for nothing less than superlative excellence, mediocrity simply will not do.
REFLECT & PRAY
The Father has started us on a new path. We no longer have to look over our shoulders at what we have done wrong. Rather we are to look forward to the good that we will do. It is the Father Himself who has begun a good work in us, and He will continue it from now on.
Father I want to set new goals. I no longer want to just get by. I want to be excellent. I recognize my knowledge is like that of a small child, partial, and incomplete. Please encourage and enable me to grow up and develop broad, in-depth, mature knowledge and discernment that come only from You.
How do we achieve excellence? Research has identified habits that are characteristic of people who achieve excellence. In the words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”
Habits are not inherited, rather they are developed and cultivated. People who achieve excellence exhibit the following habits
Have a goal or vision to fulfill.
They have a clearly defined end game in mind. If they did not have an end goal, they could not achieve it.
Identify what you love
When we do what we love, we have deep energy reserves to tap into day after day. The hunger to excel is heightened when you do something you love.
Work harder than anyone else
Make use of every moment
Every moment counts so, therefore they deploy effective time management strategies.
Work to attain desired results
The only real limit they face is themselves.
Relentlessly upgrade and improve yourself
There is always something that can be improved and done better. Learning never stops.
People who strive for excellence are continuously reading and learning. They expose themselves to new knowledge, new perspectives, new ideas, new people, new skills, and contexts.
Continually ask for feedback and critiques
Blind spots lurk within each of us. We cannot improve what we are unaware of.
Strive to be the best at what you do.
They try to provide the best value and quality possible. Aiming for just getting by does not cut it.
In your quest for excellence, perform repeated objective self-checks along the way. Be prepared to begin anew as needed. Be ready to acquire the necessary knowledge and additional insight.
Time to get to work.