TO CHEW ON: "And this I pray … that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value—recognizing the highest and the best and distinguishing the moral differences." Philippians 1:9,10 AMP
Excellence. We appreciate it in our things—well-made clothes of quality fabrics, vehicles that purr as they run on a minimum of gas, a sofa that still looks good after being a trampoline, a table and a wrestling mat to a couple of kids.
But what does excellence in a life look like? Perhaps we should break our lives down into their parts to see what is excellent in various departments.
All activities begin in our thoughts. The Bible has some excellent advice about what kinds of thoughts we should allow to tumble around in our heads:
- A list of thought-worthy subjects: things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy is found in Philippians 4:8.
- Thinking about God's word is excellent - Joshua 1:8.
- Thoughts about ourselves should be realistic - Romans 12:3.
Our words give others a look into our hearts/thoughts. The Bible describes excellent words as:
- Appropriate - Proverbs 15:23; 25:11.
- Gracious - Ecclesiastes 10:12; Colossians 4:6.
- Comforting - Isaiah 50:4.
- Edifying - Ephesians 4:29.
- Simple and clear - Matthew 5:37.
- Convicting in their honesty and wisdom - Ecclesiastes 12:11.
- Spiritually inspiring - Ephesians 5:19; 1 Peter 4:11.
- Kind - Proverbs 31:26 ("She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
And the law of kindness is on her tongue" - ASV.)
Most of us spend the majority of our time at work. Whether we work for a boss or are self-employed we want to do excellent work. The Bible's description of excellent work and workers includes the facts that:
- Excellent work is deliberate and planned, not rushed - Proverbs 21:6.
- Excellent workers are faithful and diligent - 1 Corinthians 4:2; Proverbs 10:4.
- They work at everything as if God were the boss - Colossians 3:17.
- They work with a view to what lasts for eternity - Luke 12:16-20.
What a standard! Let's challenge ourselves to excellence in every department of our lives today.
PRAYER: Dear God, please give me the wisdom to recognize the path of excellence and the discipline to take it. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quotations marked ASV are taken from the American Standard Version, which is in the public domain.