Perfection or Excellence : What Really Matters
Do we arrive promptly during appointments? Can we be trusted when it comes to handling money? Do we accomplish projects thoroughly and properly? Do we dress accordingly on special occasions? Do we give our best in every task assigned to us? These are questions that mean to probe further on the excellence we exercise in life.
In Philippians 4:8 (ESV), it says “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, 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.”
Excellence can be displayed in seemingly menial and practical things. It should be exhibited in all that we say, think and do.
There are a lot of non-Christians who make a name for themselves because they are excellent in their fields. As followers of Christ, all the more that we have to be excellent in the things He has called us to do. Our motive is not to point people to ourselves but to Him so He will be glorified.
Colossians 3:17 (ESV) says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”. Paul later writes, ” 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 ESV)
We are to strive for excellence so we can become powerful testimonies of who Christ is and eventually have an opportunity to lead others to Christ. The God who created the universe and everything in it has His Spirit on us. He is excellent in every way and He calls us to be like Him and nothing less.
Many people think of excellence as perfection but the two are very different.
According to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially, the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness.
On the other hand, excellence, according to Wikipedia, is a talent or quality, which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards.
Perfection only leads to pressure, frustration, and fear of rejection. Excellence allows you to make mistakes but drives you to push yourself back up and continue. It leads to a sense of fulfillment, confidence and encouragement.
Michael J. Fox once said, “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” God did not ask us to be perfect because it is impossible to attain. Instead, He calls us to excel in the things He has called us to do.
Consider the life of Daniel. He is a perfect example of a man who exhibited excellence. In Daniel, 6:3-4, he was described as “distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him…so much so that ‘they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.’”
Like Daniel and as God’s children, we are to exhibit excellence in speech, in our service, the way we handle our finances, our business dealings and in every area of our lives. As imitators of Christ, who is excellent in every way, we will give Him glory if we do not lead mediocre lives.
Do we arrive promptly during appointments? Can we be trusted when it comes to handling money? Do we accomplish projects thoroughly and properly? Do we dress accordingly on special occasions? Do we give our best in every task assigned to us? Excellence can be displayed in seemingly menial and practical things.
Strive for excellence and be amazed how God will use you and your testimony to lead others to Him, and bring glory to His Name.