Several years ago I read an interview with Mary Crowley, the highly successful developer and owner of the Home Interiors enterprise. The question was asked, “What are some of the basic principles of how you approach your work and how you approach your life that have made you more and more successfully.” Her answer was simple: “I have a commitment to excellence, and never give up. Whatever the job is, do it the best you can, and make it shine.” With this she also imparts her deep feeling that everyone is on the team, and everyone is serving others, not just doing a job. Over a period of 25 years, her initial investment of $5,000.00 had grown to over $400 million that year.
This interview gave way to an interesting thought and challenge. In Luke we find the story of a business enterprise. Luke 15:8 makes a blunt statement: “The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” According to Romans (chapters 10 and 11), God can use means outside the confines of our churches to provoke us to action. Success of material enterprises, which are a result of disciplined hard work, creative planning with purposeful strategy, strong faith in accepting a challenge and a commitment to excellence, provoke me to excel in the Kingdom enterprises in which I am involved. Whatever elements of success I see in others that are not contrary to Christian character I will strive to attain. My commitment must be to give my utmost for His highest in everything I do, from the most menial to the most prominent of my responsibilities!
May I suggest that there may be more than we usually reckon within the scriptural declaration that an excellent spirit was in Daniel? (Daniel 6:3). Somehow we have so spiritualized this that we have missed the practical importance. Perhaps it will speak more plainly to us to say that a spirit of excellence was in Daniel. To emphasize this point, I make a few observations from a recent study of Daniel’s excellence.
Daniel was well read, an ardently studious man, with a disciplined mind and a teachable nature. “Skillful in wisdom, cunning in knowledge, understanding science – had ability – whom they might teach” (Daniel 1:4). He “understood by books” (Daniel 9:2).
He was in control of himself physically, his appetites, his time and emotions. He restricted his eating, was regular with prayer, fasted for periods of time, did not panic in a crisis, understood the importance of timing, held his ego in close check, humbled himself to confession and repentance. (Read Daniel 1, 2, 5 and 9). He excelled in personal relationships. Even his captors loved him (Daniel 1:9. He could meditate and motivate even among godless people (Daniel 2:14-30; 4:24-27, 37). He was a man of excellence in spirit, knowledge, understanding, explanations and knotty problems (Daniel 5:12). He was committed to excellence – not only in spirit, but in everything in which he was involved.
Whatever I do that is Kingdom related, from the keeping of my own temple, to the keeping of the church in my house, to the interior and exterior of His house, to the responsibilities of my position as Ambassador to the people e of this world from His Kingdom – whatever the job is, I must do it the very best I can, and make it shine. I have a commitment to excellence for His Excellency, my Lord and His Kingdom.