Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. - Colossians 3:23-24
I once struggled with the idea of being called to be excellent. What did excellence mean? Did it mean that I couldn’t mess up, or that I should strive to not mess up? Was that all that it meant to be excellent? Did it mean to just merely be “very good” at whatever I am doing? The answer, of course, is no. That is not what it means to be excellent.
The wrong line of thinking in what it means to be excellent can lead to some impossible situations for us. First of all, it is actually “perfection” that we are after when we think that we have to be good enough. Well, perfection is impossible. When we think excellence simply amounts to just being good enough, we place on ourselves an impossible amount of pressure. It’s impossible because it can’t be met. Then, when inevitably we don’t meet perfect standards, it leads to defeat and can also lead to a sense of failure.
THIS IS WHERE JESUS COMES IN
He was perfect. He died an undeserving death to forgive us for not being perfect, because we can’t be. Why can’t we be perfect? The answer is SIN.
Colossians 3:23 -24 is our call to be excellent. This verse doesn’t contain any language about perfection. This verse instead calls us to bring our very best to Him, in whatever it is that we are doing.
EXCELLENCE: BRINGING OUR VERY BEST, AND LEAVING THE REST UP TO HIM
Of course, we want to be very good at all that we do. When we lead worship, we want to sound as great as we can; when we speak, we want to speak with conviction and challenge our listeners to change or think. These are good things. We honor God when we desire to be at our best. But, it’s all about how you bring it.
Bringing God our very best means that we “work heartily” at whatever we are doing for Him. That means that we are to give our whole heart in all that we do, no matter the outcome, and no matter how smooth or not smooth we arrived at the conclusion. The results are in His hands, and He will not be denied if and when He desires to speak or move in a life. We are to “work heartily” because ultimately, it is Him that we are serving; it is Him that we are working for.
WAYS TO BE EXCELLENT
1) Daily seek to live in His presence.
When we live in His presence, we have no choice but to bring our very best, because He dominates our thoughts and minds. It is a state of constant worship.
2) Quite literally, think of God and not men.
Colossians 3:23-24 says that it is the Lord Christ that we are serving. Whatever it is that you are doing, you are doing it for Him. Would you want to bring a sub-par effort to God?
Much like #1. When we are in constant conversation with Him, we are more in tune to listening to Him, and therefore more in tune with this conviction and call to be excellent.
EXCELLENCE ISN’T PERFECTION
Excellence is bringing our very best to a God that is worthy of our very best, and absolutely nothing less.