A Spirit of Excellence

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, not for men. COLOSSIANS 3:23 ESV 

Let’s go back in time for a minute. The year is 1997, I’m in my second-grade classroom, and the teacher gave us a coloring assignment. More than anything, I wanted to be the first one to complete it. I scribbled as quickly as I could, ran to the table, and slammed the paper down as if I finished in first place on The Amazing Race. My classmates looked up, wide-eyed in awe. The rush of adrenaline was overwhelming. My ego skyrocketed. I proudly sat down with a cockeyed winner’s grin. But little did I know, a humbling was about to come even faster than my pathetic scribble job. 

Without missing a beat, the teacher walked to the back of the class, picked up my paper, and held it high up in the air. With an irritated snarl, she loudly announced, “Kids, this is what you’re not to do. I will not tolerate sloppy work.” 

You could literally hear my pride deflating like a limp balloon. Tears streamed down my face. I dubbed her as my “least favorite teacher” for years. But goodness gracious, now that I’m an adult who understands the value of excellence, that lady was probably one of the best teachers I ever had. 

When someone has a spirit of excellence, you can tell. It’s evident in their appearance, in their home, in their workplace, and in their relationships. However, they not only show excellence with big things; they show it in little things. These people put shopping carts back, keep their grass mowed, pay bills on time, and exude responsibility in everything they do. In turn, they’re often blessed. If you have ever looked at someone else’s life and thought, “Wow, they’re so lucky,” the key might be simple—that person values excellence and properly stewards what they’re given. 

While excellence doesn’t lead you to Christianity, embracing God’s Word will lead you to a life of excellence. Seek Jesus; it will naturally set you apart, and it will make you want to do the next right thing. 

Lord, I want to live a life of excellence. Show me how to do that, in the big things and in the little things. Use me for Your glory in every area of my life. Amen. 

This is an excerpt from Goodness Gracious: 90 Unfiltered Devotions for This Sometimes-Too-Serious Life by Hannah Crews a devotional now available on DaySpring.com. Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.