There’s a fine line between the human definitions and demonstrations of excellence and perfection. Excellence honors God. Perfection honors self. Excellence inspires others. Perfection inspires control. Excellence is future focused and sustainable. Perfection is present focused and unsustainable. Excellence encourages. Perfectionism wears. Pursuing excellence is obedient. Pursuing perfection, unless we are seeking to model the way Jesus lived, is sin.
The truth is, we are sinners and perfection is out of our grasp, but we have a God who didn’t ask for our perfection. His Son covered that. What He did ask for is work, hearts, focus, and perspectives centered on doing everything as unto the Lord and not for men. When we see everything we do as a reflection of Christ, we are spurred on to pursue excellence that manifests itself in strength and grace and is appealing to the recipient. Scripture has much to say about excellence.
Excellence is identified as something we should search for, think about, and act on.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
We are called to excel in everything, even demonstrating excellence and graciousness in giving like the church of Macedonia modeled in 2 Corinthians 8.
“But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.” 2 Corinthians 8:7
The ability to determine what is excellent is tied to growing with the Lord in our knowledge and discernment.
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10
Excellence is a mark of a follower of Christ. Daniel demonstrated excellent character and therefore was trusted to speak and counsel the king of a foreign land.
“Because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”
Excellence honors God and inspires people, and therefore is attractive and a place the Lord can use to gain even more glory and recognition through His people.
“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” Proverbs 22:29
If we are modeling our lives after Christ, we will want to model excellence in order to point to the beautiful, powerful, perfect, and sovereign excellencies of our King of Kings.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Pursuing excellence is a mark of the believer and demonstrates our desire to follow a perfect Savior. Resolve to pursue excellence with us this year! It’s a daily choice and an incredible honor to live in such a way that points to our perfect God.