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Excellence is an essential Christian virtue that we should always strive to achieve as believers of Christ. Unfortunately, we so many times find ourselves pursuing everything else and forgetting this noble virtue. Excellence is exceptional, and when we attain it, God is glorified even more. Our Creator is truly the epitome of excellence, as we see it in his perfect character and in everything that He created. We are perfectly made in God’s likeness, and together with everything else that He created, excellence is perfectly demonstrated.
The Bible teaches us through so many scriptures that we should always pursue excellence. For instance, 1st Corinthians 9:24 tells us that even though so many people are running the race, we as believers should run, that we may obtain the prize. That means that we should train and prepare so diligently without falling for average in what we do. It doesn’t mean that we must always win, but we should do everything the best way we can. Furthermore, Colossians 3:23 reminds us that we should work with all our hearts as if we are working for the Lord. That means that in our work, we should always do it for the glory of God. It doesn’t matter whether we love our jobs or not, but we should always produce good results when we remind ourselves of this verse.
In Genesis, we see God commissioned Adam and Eve to exercise dominion over every other creature (Genesis 1:28). As children of God, we are called to have power and dominion over other creatures and all facets of life, including academic success, parenting, government, and in fields such as business, medicine, and sciences. We cannot say that we have dominion over anything if we are not committed to excellence. When we do everything with excellence as believers, the beauty of God is seen through our works, and everyone will want to be associated with the family of God. In addition, as a family of faith, our excellence should be reflected in our moral behaviors. God himself is holy, compassionate, kind, and full of love; He is perfect and just in all his deeds, and so we should strive to be like him. When we reach spiritual maturity as believers, we can achieve all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which means that we will have moral excellence.
The problem is that the majority of us believers do not pursue excellence. We sometimes have no proper understanding of grace, and we assume that we are supposed to let everything go and allow God to do his work. Even as much as grace may be sufficient, we are required to work hard in everything we do and not give up hard work with the hope that grace will take charge. Hard work allows us to excel in the work that we do for God, and it cannot be replaced by grace or prayers. When we work hard as Christians, there is fulfillment and God’s favor that will always come after that.
When I was younger and staying with my parents, we once got a housemaid who was utterly different from the previous ones. I will not give her actual name, and so I will nickname her Faith. Faith came to work at our home when my parents had almost given up looking for housemaids. That is because the housemaids that we were getting before were all very lazy and fond of complaining. They would not do the work as required, and they would wait until they are instructed on what to do every time, even if something needed to be fixed right in front of their eyes.
I would even overhear some complaining on the phone about how they were overworked yet underpaid. Some of them would even spend most of the day watching television and movies while there was a lot of work that needed to be done. Sometimes my mother had to do most of the house chores herself after work, which would only ruin the relationship with the maid. She would finally send the housemaid away, but thinking that she was fixing the problem, she would get another similar or worse behavior.
However, Faith was different. Apart from being a born-again Christian, Faith believed in hard work. She came ready to work, and nothing would go wrong under her watch. Faith was doing all the work expected of her and even more sometimes. Most importantly, Faith was always happy, and she would interact freely with anyone she came across. My mother finally got her peace of mind and paid Faith more out of gratitude. So one day, my mother became curious to know Faith better, only to learn that she had dropped out of college due to struggles with fees. Faith was an orphan under the care of her elder brother, but the brother was not well financially to see her through college. She was determined to work hard and raise school fees to resume her studies. However, due to excellence in her work, she attracted a favor that would not have happened. My mother offered to clear her fees, and she resumed her education. Apart from that, she was still paid for her work at home when out of classes. Due to excellence in what she did, even though the nature of work was not the best one would want, Faith could finally achieve her education dreams.
The Bible promises us as believers that if we do our work with excellence, we will gain favor and even stand before kings (Proverbs 22:29). Indeed we are called to excellence, and it is not achievable to only the chosen few but to us all, and therefore, it is our responsibility to pursue nothing short of it. If believers achieve excellence in what they do, including leadership, technology, medicine, and the academic world, then the family of faith will only grow larger. Therefore, let us avoid mediocrity or being average, and all the glory will go to our heavenly Father.