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September 23, 2021 · Bob Gass

Strive for excellence (1) 

“Understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.” Daniel 5:14 NKJV

Even though Daniel lived in captivity, he refused to settle for mediocrity. This brought him to the attention of the king of Babylon, who said, “I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.” What a resumé. What a reputation. And what a rebuke to those who “just want to get by.” The Bible says, “Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people” (Proverbs 22:29 NLT). The way to get noticed and to get ahead in life is to study, grow, and sharpen your skill set. Question: do you have a mediocre attitude toward your work, your relationships, and your life in general? If so, consider the level of frustration you’d experience if the people who served you had a “that’ll do” attitude. What if a waiter served your food cold and your drink in a dirty glass? Do you think you’d complain? If so, imagine how people feel when you give them shoddy workmanship and a “could care less” attitude. They say “excellence is its own reward.” Yes, you’ll be rewarded for excellence, but your biggest reward will come from knowing you did your best. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Observe the lives of people who excel in their fields. Study their habits and learn from them. Identify their character traits and seek to develop them. Bottom line: only when you have done your best can you trust God to do the rest.

Bible in a year: Isaiah 39-40 and Philippians 1

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