The greatest thought I ever had was that of my individual responsibility to God.” -Daniel Webster
As I read that statement, I thought instantly of what Paul said to the church at Colosse:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man” (Colossians 3:23 NIV).
During the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps gave us an extraordinary display of the pursuit of excellence. But the truth is every athlete in the Olympics pursues excellence as peak performers in their categories of competition.
The Bible identifies some ways to excel in your desire to glorify God.
1. People need to excel in their service for God. Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best. Great performers give their best effort, no matter the size of the audience: “And, whatever you do whether in word or deed ,do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ( Col.3:17 -.NIV).
2. People need to excel in the study of God’s Word. They never stop developing, growing, learning, and improving: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”(Matt.6:33 –NIV)
3. People need to excel in keeping their word. They are reliable. They can be counted on to do what they say they’ll do. So they excel because people of integrity are rare in our society: “Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!” (Proverbs 20:6 TEV).
4. People need to excel in maintaining a positive attitude. Even under pressure, or change, disagreement or unrealistic demands, they don’t allow themselves to become negative: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life . . .” (Philippians 2:14–16 NIV). Be careful in the way you frame your words and don’t use negative “body” language. It speaks loudly as well.
5. People need to excel in doing more than is expected. This is a secret that every successful person has discovered. You’ll never excel by only doing what is required. Jesus said, “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously” (Matthew 5:40–42 MSG).
Father today I want more than anything else in the world to excel in the things that please you. Please help me be disciplined in the things that will keep me close to you, I want to glorify you in word, thought and deed every moment of everyday. Give us as leaders the desire to strive and excel in our service for you. May your Holy Spirit motivate us to be everything we claim to be. We pray for your church and for us as leaders to be the model and example you desire us to be. To you be the glory in all things! Amen!