“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
I love when I’m talking to a friend and the Holy Spirit shows up – which is a lot. When you surround yourself with Christ-followers, they will lift you up, admonish you and keep you on track too! As a recovering driver and striver – a type A for God is how I like to look at it now – in learning to hustle with heart, one of the things that continues to be a stronghold for me is the idea of having to prove the excellence in all I do. Proof that I’m doing a good job, proof that I’m working with excellence, and proof that I’m honoring Him.
Here’s what the Holy Spirit revealed in my conversation with a friend…excellence doesn’t need proof. It doesn’t. We are called in the Bible to work with excellence. To do what we’re doing for the glory of God and to do it wholeheartedly because excellence does honor God. But in our world, we want to define excellence to prove that we’ve been excellent with a promotion, a title, a pay raise, a plaque on the wall, a trophy, etc. When God’s call for us to be excellent, it means to be excellent in doing what He’s called us to do: to love Him and love His people…and in loving His people, to serve the world.
We don’t need proof. But what I found is that I personally have equated excellence to an end point of proof. If I’m working with excellence that means it leads to X, it leads to this title, it leads to this situation, it leads to me being on this stage. And that’s proof that I’ve been excellent, as if every step up to that point that didn’t result in those things means that I wasn’t excellent. And here’s the things, God made us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Therefore, we’re already excellent, but it is our life’s work to continue to pursue excellence in all we do.
So where does the Bible point to excellence? Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the brave where you are going.” In my Life Principles Bible, Dr. Charles Stanley comments, “God urges us to work at whatever He gives us to do with all our hearts. Enthusiasm for Him should translate to enthusiasm for life.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore whatever you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Dr. Stanley comments, “There could hardly be a better standard of behavior than this. Before you commit to any action, ask yourself, can I do this to the glory of God, would this action represent Him in a manner worthy of His name?”
Philippians 9:10 says “And this I pray, that your love may abound, that is excel, still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” Dr. Stanley comments, “In what we do, as God is sanctifying us and transforming us into His image, he trains us to make the right choices. Choices that are excellent, so we not only refrain from the behaviors that harm our relationships with the Lord, but we live in a manner that brings Him great glory.”
Guess what? None of that says the proof of being excellent means a promotion, a pay raise, to live in this house, drive that car, or be in this place. None of that has to do with excellence. I’m sharing this with you passionately with you because when the breakthrough hit me, I thought “YES Holy Spirit…drop that wisdom in me!” Because this is what I’ve been struggling with: to be excellent, I have to prove that through an outward symbol. No! I just have to work for the Lord. And as God-centered entrepreneurs, that’s what He calls us to do. To build businesses that honor Him and serve His people. There’s no definition around what that looks like from the standpoint of a particular job or a particular level or whatever. Excellence honors God. Period.
So if you have not reached a certain level that you’ve had on your dream board or you’ve set as your goal, and you’re thinking “I’m not there so that proves I’m not doing excellent work… wrong! Wrong! Do you have a peace and a joy in serving others? Does it feel good when you’re serving someone and you’re able to show Christ’s love in the midst of that? Take a look back at my recent blog Your Business is a Kingdom Tool – this business is a vehicle. It is a tool that God can use in different areas of our life.
I want to leave you with one more thing. I was talking with a family member, she also has a business, and she said her heart is changing for her business and she’s praying that God will reveal to her what He wants her to do with the business. Because as we know there are seasons for everything. And what she said is, “what I know is that this business has a distinct purpose in my life because of this business, I’ve done so much. I’ve become healthier, which taught my family to be healthier, which helped me in beating a disease that I had, which led me to meet these people, which led me to meet this person, who led me to her church.” And guess what? Just a few weeks ago, this person I’m speaking of and her daughter were baptized!
You guys! If that is not purpose in her having this business, I don’t know what is – look what it led to! And even if today God said to her “you’re done, walk away from your business,” that does not mean she failed. That means that she worked with excellence and the tools that God gave her and look what it resulted in in her life. I mean mind blown – BOOM – right?