Over the next few weeks, I’d like to share some thoughts surrounding the idea of excellence. This post will serve as an introduction and foundation to the series.
Scroll down for links to each post.
excellence |ˈeksələns| noun
Any valuable quality.
Anything highly laudable, meritorious, or virtuous, in persons.
Anything of great worth, valuable, or esteemed, in things.
Whatever contributes to exalt a man, or to render him esteemed and happy, or to bless society, is in him an excellence.
paraphrased from Webster’s 1828 dictionary
Who does not want excellence? To be exalted, esteemed, and happy? To bless society?
Excellence is good. The ultimate measure of the “good” of any quality is God, and scripture shows us plainly that God is excellent.
“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.” ~Job 37:23 KJV
“Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” ~Psalm 150:2 ESV
“This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.” ~Isaiah 28:29 ESV
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” ~Psalm 8:9 KJV
“having become as much superior to angels as the name [Jesus] has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” ~Hebrews 1:4 ESV
God tells us to listen to and learn excellence.
“Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.” ~Proverbs 8:6 KJV
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” ~Philippians 1:9-10 ESV
“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.” ~Philippians 4:8 ESV
He does not leave us to learn excellence from a dry dictionary definition, but gives us examples to follow.
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels….” ~from Proverbs 31:10-31 ESV
“Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.” ~Daniel 6:3 ESV
He also paints a beautiful picture of excellence through Paul.
“But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way….” ~from 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 ESV
But ultimately, God does not leave us alone in our striving for elusive excellence.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” ~2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV
Therefore, excellence belongs to every Christian – to those who know that the good qualities existing in their lives come not from themselves, but from the One they serve.