Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
CEF Culture Point 6
Importance of a Commitment to Excellence, for the Glory of God
Every aspect of the work, no matter how big or small, has significance. This includes the
training we conduct, the materials we produce, the facilities we use and the way we present ourselves. In every area we must strive for excellence to the glory of God!
When the queen of Sheba visited Solomon, she learned the true meaning of the word excellence. After she had seen how wisely Solomon governed there was no more breath in her (1 Kings 10:5). What was so overwhelming? Solomon did not just try to have excellence in one or two areas. She saw excellence everywhere! Not just the way he ran the state or built his palace, but His burnt offerings and even the robes of the servants proved his striving for excellence.
For Solomon there were no small things. He organised everything in an excellent way from the greatest affairs in the kingdom down to the smallest affairs in the kitchen. He gave the needed attention to everything – large or small.
What leads to excellence?
- Excellence flows from a heart that stays in close fellowship with an excellent God. Psalm 150:2 praises His excellent greatness, Isaiah 28:29 says that He is excellent in wisdom. Actually every attribute and every work of God displays excellence. Living with such a God you cannot help but aspire to excellence yourself.
- Excellence flows from a heart that occupies itself with excellent things. Our memory verse shows us what these things are. Fix your minds on what is true or genuine. Consider whatever is worthy of reverence and whatever is just. Think about whatever is pure or chaste. Ponder about whatever is lovely or lovable. Consider whatever is commendable or worthy of praise. If you see moral excellence or any praiseworthy thing in the people around you, learn from them and imitate them.
Excellence is not an end in itself. The purpose of excellence is to glorify God. The queen of Sheba clearly understood that all the wisdom and excellence she had seen in and around Solomon could only have come from God. So at the end she said, Blessed be the Lord your God! (1 Kings 10:9). Let this be our motive for striving for excellence: the glory of God!
As the Word of God is true and genuine, memorizing it will bring excellence into our lives.