By Angela Errett
Today it seems as though the word excellent has been lost from our vocabulary. It has been diminished, moved to the back of the line, and cheapened to the point of changing to the opposite of its intended meaning or cast as a ‘bad’ thing. What is wrong with being excellent? Nothing I would contend, but the current populist norm of just going along to get along without a standard or a high mark leaves a hole in our society. To achieve greatness, you must want to attain greatness. If you don’t know what greatness is, how can you attain it?
What are our societal standards today? How do we record greatness? Is it through how much wealth one has; how much business success one has; how much influence one has; how much knowledge one has; or could it be how popular someone is? On a certain level, these all gain recognition in the world and establish a mark on the rung. Where does spirituality fit into this equation–meaning a love for God and His ways?
As I sit here watching a live camera shot of Israel, it occurs to me that I am looking at greatness. The Lord has given us words–His words–that can help each and every individual attain greatness in His eyes. He chose Jerusalem as “the place.” “The place” He gave to Abraham and “the place” David did not rest until he found. The one place in this vast and wide cosmos that God wanted to come down and walk with His creation in His own city.
God made us for excellence. We were made in His image and given the choice to follow Him or not. He loved us so much that He refused to make us conform to His ways without love for Him. If we love Him, we will do our best to follow Him. No one that is on this earth is perfect, but God gave us perfection through His Word. The Word in the Bible gives us a snapshot of our history and the reflection of the Love of Christ. Each word on the pages held within its covers shows a beautiful mirror image of Jesus. Jesus is excellence. Jesus is perfection.
God left us a road map of how to become excellent and follow His lead. The stories contained in the Bible show every situation imaginable, and anyone who reads just the book of Proverbs will gain some of His wisdom. The kind of wisdom that men of worldly knowledge simply cannot fathom. One simple way to read the whole book of Proverbs is to read one chapter each day. It only contains 31 chapters, so if you read one chapter each night starting on the first of the month (double up on the short months), in a years time you will have read the book 12 times!
Some may say that is boring. Au contraire, mon frére! Each time a chapter is read, something new comes to light, and the words go deep into your heart so that you can remember them in a time of need. It is far better to respond to a troubling time by reciting peaceful words of wisdom than to curse or speak negatively. God and His words are our refuge, our strength, and can help us through any situation (see Psalm 46:1). His words lead us to excellence.
The book of Psalms speaks about the request of God’s help over forty times. “Lord, help me,” is a powerful prayer that can raise awareness and tap into God’s wisdom. He hears each of our prayers and with those prayers, His words guide us on the narrow path–leading us by His right hand to a higher place (see Isaiah 41:13).
Make haste, O God, to deliver me: make haste to
help me, O Lord (Psalm 70:1 KJV).
Help me, O Lord my God; Save me according
to Your lovingkindness (Psalm 109:26).
Let us strive to attain what greatness truly looks like in the pages of the most beloved best selling-book in the world–our Bible.
Article reprinted from the April-May 2015 issue of Glory Magazine.