This is all about excellence. Not perfection, but giving your best, leaving nothing in the locker room, cutting no corners. Whether we are the janitor in the school, the yardman at the church, or serving the President of the United States.
She was telling me how she came to make the hard decision to change jobs.
“I was working in the fraud division of a financial company,” she said. “They trained me for the position and I was working hard at it. But for some reason, I just wasn’t getting it. And that felt bad.”
“I’m very good at what I do,” she explained.
“So this was a new thing for me. I went to work feeling uncomfortable, like I was not doing what they had brought me there for.”
“Then, a former co-worker who knew me and worked for a bank, recommended me to her boss. I interviewed and felt quickly this was where I needed to be.”
“When I resigned to go with the new job,” she said, “they begged me to stay. My boss and co-workers actually pleaded with me. One told me I was a great influence in the office. And, to my surprise, they said I was doing the work I was hired for.”
“But I felt I wasn’t. I love feeling that I’m doing my best work. And I just didn’t have that.”
The young woman is my granddaughter. There are no words to say how proud I am of her. She had a difficult upbringing for a dozen reasons, but showed early in life that she is bright and positive, an overcomer. Anyone would be proud to be related to her.
Her statement has stuck with me. “I’m very good at what I do.”
That is a great mantra. I want it to be mine.
Give of your best to the Master. It’s one of our hymns.
As far as I know, the word “excellence” is not to be found in Scripture. But the concept is there in numerous ways. Consider these texts…
–“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). In the name of Jesus.
–“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23). As for the Lord.
–“Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). To the glory of God.
–“Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Giving your very best effort.
There! That ought to cover it!
Whatever we are doing–typing bills of lading for a trucking company or driving that truck, ordering cast iron pipe for the city water works or pumping that water, writing an article or a book, or teaching a classroom of middle-schoolers–we should do our job in the name of Jesus, as unto the Lord Jesus, for the glory of Jesus, and with all we’ve got.
“Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” — Romans 12:11.
And then there is this…
“Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Ephesians 5:20.
So, when you’re doing that great work, be sure to add gratitude to the mix. It’s like icing on the cake.
Imagine this: You are turning out great work. The boss is impressed, your co-workers are pleased and even a tad envious, and in your heart of hearts you know this is as good as it can be done. Then, on top of that, you are grateful for the privilege of working here, glad to be working alongside these people, and delighted for the opportunity to use your gifts in this way.
There once was a lady named Dorcas. “This woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity, which she continually did.” And then she died.
“When Peter arrived, they brought him into the upper room where all the widows stood around weeping. They were showing him all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.”
So Peter knelt and prayed and raised her from the dead. (Acts 9)
Why her? we wonder. And we answer our own question: She was doing such wonderful work, the congregation just simply could not do without her. So the Lord returned her to them.
Excellence has a way of making one invaluable.
In former days, women’s Sunday School classes often named themselves “The Dorcas Class.” They wanted to be like her.