God is in the business of excellence. In the beginning, when he created the heavens and earth, he declared that what he created was ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31). God loved the quality of what he produced. We were created in his image with the original mandate of being fruitful, multiplying and subduing the earth (Genesis 1:28). As a people made in his image, we have the ability to create in the same spirit of excellence.
Operating in the excellence spirit means we aim to do our best work at all times. In Colossians 3:23, it say, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” They key is that we see what we are doing as working for the Lord and because he is a God of excellence, we follow his lead. “Like our Master, Jesus, who modeled excellent carpentry work, in his grace, we too, labor with diligence and strive for excellence in whatever work God has called us to do”. Tom Nelson in his book, Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work.
Why should we seek after excellence? Certainly not seek to glorify our work but instead to glorify God through our work. For some persons, work defines them, instead of being defined as created in the image of God. Striving for excellence is about their glory and not highlighting God’s goodness. “In our work we are to show off God’s glory, excellence, creativity, and glory to the world” Tom Nelson. He created us in his image and he is a God of excellence, naturally as his redeemed children we also excel in our respective fields.
When we excel at our work, it gives us the credibility to speak of the excellence of our Lord Jesus and to share the good news of the gospel with those around us. Tom Nelson, says it like this, “we want God to be seen as excellent so as Christians we should do excellent work since we are representing him.” Hugh Whelchel, in his book How Then Should we Work, agrees by saying, “when Christians do their jobs with excellence and with accountability in a distinctively christian manner, they cannot help but have a profound effect on the world around them”
What hinders some from being excellent is the dissatisfaction with the work they do. If they are working outside of their purpose, it makes the work they are doing more difficult. It is important to find God’s path for you and walk it. Fulfilling and living in your purpose is the best way to demonstrate excellence. O.S. Guinness in his book, The Call: finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose for your Life, sums it up by saying “we excel when we follow what God calls us to do because he enables us.
I’ve struggled with understanding what work was my purpose but eventually after getting closer to God I finally understood the path he has me on. Because of this, I understand the struggles many people face trying to figure theirs out. When we are not aware of our purpose, we continuously move from task to task trying to find one that will fit.
We must first seek the Lord as our main purpose. When we seek him and explore his user manual for our lives, his word, it is easier to find what gifts and talents we possess and use excellently for his purpose.