Choosing to be excellent


ex·cel·lent  –adjective
possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good.

That sounds like the kind of person I’d like to be and the kind of life I’d like to live.  Perhaps even the kind of character and life that comes with following Jesus.

Whole books could be (and have been) written describing how to live excellently, but I can say in one blog post where excellence begins.  We may never want to claim to be excellent, but we should always aim to be excellent, and in our own hearts and minds be settled in such an aim, making it our own, giving ourselves permission.

God enables excellence, but we must choose it.

There is a quality of living and character that is fitting with the identity of Christian.  We are called to it.  As these scriptures show, Paul was consistently concerned that those who followed Christ chose to live congruent to His call.

Ephesians 4:1
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Philippians 1:27
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Titus 3:8
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

The Bible makes it clear that we are to aim our lives high and straight and true, live them in a manner worthy of being called followers of the Son of God, Who is the King of Kings and Savior of all who will but turn to Him, Who gave away His life that we could live.

God enables excellence, but we must choose it.

Did God create us, did Jesus die for us, did the Holy Spirit fill us for anything less that this?

Because excellence will be lived out differently by each of us, I won’t and shouldn’t attempt to prescribe what excellence will look like in your life, but I do know this:

The grace of God is not a license for low expectations and sloppy living.  It is an invitation to live our best lives, now that we’re rescued from sin and death.  Experiencing the grace of God doesn’t mean we no longer care about the quality of our character, it means we care more than ever before because we’re now empowered to truly shine and show to ourselves and the world how life is supposed to work.

God enables excellence.  And living a truly excellent life, one of holiness and righteousness and wisdom and balance, is only possible through Christ and His indwelling Spirit.  However, in all candor, we can live our whole lives as Christians and never become “remarkably good” in any aspect of our lives.  We must choose it.  

  • choose to live lives worthy of the calling we have received
  • choose to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ
  • choose to live lives worthy of God, who calls us into His kingdom and glory
  • choose to be careful to devote ourselves to doing what is good

Such choices are deliberate, not accidental.  They are enabled by God, but made by you and me.

Given the choice between living a life–even a Christian life– that’s average (or pretty good) and excellent, I’m choosing excellent.  I bet you would, too.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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