“Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.” --Anonymous
When God gave Moses instructions about building the Tabernacle, attention to detail and quality of work were never in doubt. “So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded” Exodus 36:1.
God’s workmanship is never sloppy or second rate, and He expects the same level of excellence from us for the work He gives us to do. In fact, Paul reminds us that “we are God’s workmanship”, which means that God was not satisfied with “just okay” when He made you. He did not make you and say, “Oops! Oh well, that’ll just have to do, I guess.” Sin has marred the pot—not the potter.
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Events of this past year like Ferguson remind us of it. This world is far from what it was intended to be. Everyday we are struck with obvious reminders that this world is not our home. It is tainted by sin and the disappointments of injustice. Even our understanding of justice is skewed by sin, and ideological divisions keep us from loving one another as Christ has loved us.
We long for harmony and goodwill among men. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and work we celebrate on Monday, also longed for that day when his own children and everyone’s children would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” That day will not ever be fully realized until our Lord returns and establishes a new heaven and a new earth when all will be as it was intended to be. But in the meantime,
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men…” Eph. 6:7
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
-- Colin Powell
A local automotive mechanic from our church once commented about his industry’s reputation for poor quality work and dishonesty. He acknowledged that it was not without good cause that this reputation developed. That is why he has dedicated himself and his business to excellence and honesty in everything they do.
There is a remarkable prevalence among people in America today to do as little as possible to get by. Little consideration is given for the quality of work being performed or the consequence of sloppy work on others, particularly the consumer. Mediocrity replaces excellence for the sake of expedience, and it is well entrenched in our society.
The Bible teaches a different approach—one that paves the way for true success and happiness. It is found not in getting by with as little as you can, but in doing everything you can with wholehearted excellence. Excellence expresses the character of God and is evident in all of creation. Made in His image, it ought also to characterize our work. For the next couple of weeks, we will explore this virtue called excellence.
Grandparenting can be a lot of fun and a great reward. It can also be filled with more than our share of pain, sorrow and grief. I’ve known both and am in the midst of dealing with great sorrow right now.
Driving to a men’s Bible study the other day, my thoughts were filled with negativity and all that’s wrong in the world. I was soon overwhelmed with feelings of anger and blame. Suddenly, as I pulled up to a stoplight, I looked up to see