Christ is excellent in every way. As Christians we are called to reflect Christ, and we too should work to be excellent at what we’ve been called to do. Reflecting His perfect glory and design in whatever our hands find to do. We have high expectation for our students and staff at Doulos, because we desire to reflect Christ.
We find the importance of excellence throughout scripture. In Daniel 6:3, we see that Daniel is “distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an EXCELLENT spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.” This excellent spirit isn’t just for Daniel; it is for the entire body of Christ. As Christ followers, we can break down this pursuit of excellence into three categories: caring more, risking more, and expecting more.
Excellence is the result of caring more than other people think is wise. Jesus went above and beyond to care for others, even in the midst of controversy. In Mark 3:1-6 when Jesus heals on the Sabbath, he did not care whether or not others thought his healing was wise. He knew that caring for people was more important, even though it lead to the Pharisees’ plot to kill him. Because we are called to be like Jesus, we must always strive to care more.
Excellence is the result of risking more than other people think is safe. The word “risk” can either excite us or terrify us, but by choosing to follow Jesus we are actively choosing to risk everything. In Matthew 14:22-34 when Peter clings to safety in the boat, Jesus calls him to take a risk and trust that he’ll be safe if he gets out of the boat. Peter obeys, takes the risk, and walks on water.
Excellence is the result of expecting more than other people think is possible. When God told Noah he was going to flood the earth and instructed Noah to build an ark in Genesis 6, Noah did just as he was told. Although rain had never flooded the earth before, Noah expected more than what most people thought was possible. He did what God commanded him to do and his obedience saved many lives.
The world strives for excellence in order to obtain power or notoriety. We strive to be excellent because Jesus was excellent. We don’t conform to the world’s vision of excellence, nor do we conform to the world’s motivation for excellence. The beautiful thing about striving for excellence and reflecting Christ is that although we will fail in our pursuit, we are able to operate from a place of freedom because he expects so much but accepts so little. We must remember that it’s not about what we do, but more importantly it’s about who we do it for.
This post was originally given as a Monday morning devotional by our Executive Director, Mike Zweber. Thanks Mike!