Excellence needs two things: extra time and extra effort. It calls for going ‘above and beyond’ what others require of us. We should think of it as a matter of character and integrity. Now we’re not talking about striving for perfection. Perfectionism sets impossible standards and often seeks approval and applause. Our goal should be to perform every task as if God Himself had asked us to do it and will be evaluating and rewarding our work. He knows and sees every activity. ‘In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people. Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, which he promised to his people. You are serving the Lord Christ’ (Colossians 3:23-24 NCV). That means doing the best possible job, even when no one’s around to see the effort we’re putting in. We should also try to avoid being around people with poor work habits, or who belittle our efforts to be excellent. Even if we don’t realise it, we’re influenced by the people we spend time with, and that means we can pick up their bad habits and attitudes without really being conscious of it at the time. Here’s a prayer to help us keep focused on excellence: ‘Father, help me to approach everything I do with a spirit of excellence. Help me to live with a constant awareness of Your evaluating and loving eye, so that I’m inspired to do everything as if You had asked me to do it. Thank You that You don’t require perfection from me, but simply ask me to do the best I possibly can. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.’
Pray the prayer in today’s reading, or if you’re feeling creative, try writing your own personal prayer to help you focus on excellence and doing your best in everything you do.
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