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
Being the best simply means being excellent, to stand out from the pack. I define excellence as, “An output that can hardly be improved upon.” Excellence is one concept that some Christians are not familiar with; we have excused mediocrity for too long under the guise of, ‘I’m moved by the Spirit,’ and that has put many people off Christianity. Out there, everything is good and excellent, but amongst many Christians, mediocrity is glorified and spiritualized. However, that is not like God and is not His plan for us.
Matthew 5:14 reveals that we are the light of the world; we are supposed to shine and be outstanding; blazing the trail for the world to follow and not to trail behind the world. Also, I Peter 2:9, tells us that as God’s chosen people, we are to show forth His excellence to our world. Thus, the world is supposed to come to us to see and learn excellence as we display the beauty of God.
Excellence is not a gift of the Holy Spirit, though the presence of the Holy Spirit in you can produce excellence. It is measured by how much you perfect the gifts given to you – you must cultivate what God has put within you. What you do with your gifting will determine if you attain excellence. You must strive for excellence to become an excellent person – Daniel, in spite of his gifts, ‘understood by the books.’ He still made time for study (Daniel 9:2).
Practical ways to cultivate Excellence:
- Change what you see – Your output will always be determined by your input. It will be difficult to produce better than what you see, so go out and get exposed (Genesis 12:1).
- Pay attention to the smallest details – the little foxes which destroy the vine. Almost everybody does what you do; therefore, it is paying attention to the little details that will make you stand out (SOS 2:15).
- Plan & Prepare – Excellence will not happen by chance, you have to plan and prepare for it. Thoughts have to go into everything before execution. When preparation meets opportunity, excellence/success is the product (Proverbs 16:1).
- Finish whatever you start – don’t quit halfway. Press and strive for the mark. Many a time, we start something, but we stop halfway, (books, diet, exercise, praying, etc.). Mediocrity is halfway up, halfway down. Don’t settle for halfway or ¾ way (John 4:34).
- Commit to improve on your best at all times – Pat Riley said, “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” Never put a limit on yourself by saying, “I did my best.” It is possible for you to push beyond your best results. Always outdo your last performance.
He who strives for excellence will not be counted among the losers; he will stand before kings because excellence is the cheapest way to get promotion.
+ Identify and present areas of mediocrity/average in your life and ask God to make you be dissatisfied with them. Pray that like a potter, you will begin to break and make again, whatever needs to be redone, and replace the average things you have accepted with excellence.
+ Pray for your mind, come against mental dullness/laziness, contained thinking and spiritual blindness; and ask for creativity and quick understanding.