self-improvement

Excellence

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I like to look at fun and special things that are celebrated every month. One of the things for September is self-improvement. Self-improvement makes me think of excellence. Excellence makes me think of my husband. He is known for being a man of excellence and for his teachings on it. Excellence isn’t perfection. It’s just doing something better than you did it before.

The dictionary defines it as, “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.”  My husband’s definition is, “Excellence is the attention to detail that gives rise to superior performance which leads to promotion in life.” Another thing my husband always says is, “Today’s excellence is tomorrow’s mediocrity.”

What is excellent for you may not be excellent for me. My granddaughter recently learned how to ride a bike. She does an excellent job at it for her. Her brother, who is two years older, also rides a bike. He has a lot more confidence and rides much steadier than my granddaughter. Her excellence is his mediocrity. If he rode with the unsteadiness as she did, we’d think something was wrong with him. They have a little sister who is starting to stand on her own. For her age, she is doing excellent at it. Of course, if the other two looked like she did when they stood, it would not be excellent.

The Bible tells us we are going from glory to glory and faith to faith. Philippians encourages us to “press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ.” These two statements tell me that we should pursue excellence. We should not settle where we are, but we should constantly be in a state of learning and growing.

Psalm 1 says as we give ourselves over to the word of God and meditate on it day and night we are like trees planted by rivers of living water. Trees continually grow. Others benefit from the trees as they grow. People will benefit from you as you grow and do not get stagnant. Think about a pond that has no way for water to flow out of it. What happens to it? It gets filled with algae. It becomes no good for anyone. Disease grows in and on it.

That’s what happens with us when we do not pursue excellence. We become like a stagnant pond that looks ugly and is filled with disease. Instead of bringing life to others, we bring death and sickness.

Our desire should be to continually bring life to others. This happens as we grow in every area of our lives. I want to encourage you to pick an area to grow in. Pursue excellence in it. Then add another. Of course, you should ask for the Holy Spirit’s help. He will show you the way.