The C3 theme for April is the pursuit of excellence, which is a journey many organizations and individuals aspire to, whether Christian or non-Christian. As Christians, are we called to follow Jesus and develop an intimate relationship with Him. Through this relationship, we develop the character of Jesus, which reflects His excellence. The Apostle Paul stated it this way in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This passage is a great reminder of the content we should allow to enter our minds and the focus of our lives, but how do imperfect people reflect excellence?
Excellence vs. Perfection
Many people confuse excellence with perfection and we must realize it is impossible for human beings to be perfect. Seeking perfection can be frustrating and creates unreal expectations. The word “Perfect” means without fault or flawless, whereas “Excellence” means the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. We can and should pursue excellence, but we need to realize we are not perfect. There was only one perfect man who came to earth in the person of Jesus, so as imperfect people we pursue excellence by following the example of Christ and the command Paul gave us in Philippians 4:8 of seeking the right things.
Imagine the impact the Christian community could have if we walked out our calling with excellence and we had a reputation for doing so as a Christian community. What if Christian business owners, alliances (non-profits), churches, and individuals were known for excellence in the areas of solving problems, innovation, integrity, working hard, great service, quality products, exceptional value, paying our bills on time, and our generosity? People would be seeking to be equipped by our churches that reflect this standard of excellence, employers would desire to hire Christians, buy products and services from Christian companies, and seek to support Christian organizations that serve our communities. This may seem like an impossible dream, but there is a story in the Bible that provides an outstanding example of excellence.
Biblical Example of Excellence
King Solomon had built a thriving kingdom and the story in 2 Chronicles 9:1-8 reflects a notable example of excellence:
When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan–with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones–she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed. She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”
Queen Sheba had heard of the reputation of Solomon and tested him, then experienced for herself the environment, culture, order and service, all reflecting excellence. The experience was so great that she was overwhelmed, and God was glorified through this expression of excellence.
We may not be called to run a government like King Solomon, but each of us are God’s unique workmanship, created to great things according to Ephesians 2:10 and we should do them with excellence. No matter where we are on the spectrum of life, whether struggling or striving, we can make a conscience choice to understand the calling on our life and elevate it to the highest level for His glory. Thank you for taking this journey with us and may you be blessed as you pursue His best for your life!
Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at jjordan@Stravicom.com.