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Journey of Truth: Part 3

“Excellence is not a skill.  It is an attitude.”

– Ralph Marston

So far, we’ve discovered that excellence and perfection are two different words, but we have assigned them the same meaning.  Last week, I left you with this thought:  Believing we can do enough works to redeem ourselves is pride.  Pride is the greatest separation between God and us.  Living a life of perfection is not only exhausting but also an illusion.  Performance leads to perfectionism.  Perfectionism leads to legalism.  Now that’s a mouth full!

Unless you plan on living like the Pharisees – in an illusion of perfection – just know and accept that at some point you will mess up.  I’m here to tell you, that’s ok.  In fact, that’s great news!  You’re human, and you still need your Father to help you out of that mess.

The Biblical definition of excellence is:  virtue, moral goodness, the first fruits, or picked out or chosen by God.  I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be picked out by God than be perfect.  1 Peter 2:9-10 states, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (NIV).

Now that we live in a world where Christ has come and redeemed our spirits, and we’ve chosen to be a follower of Christ, we are new creations.  1 Peter 2:10 said we were alone and nothing.  We were nothing and living in a state of no mercy.  We are new — God has given us a new identity.  Living in a state of grace that is not by our power, but His power, is this new identity.

In this new found identity, we are to reflect the Father.  In Colossians 3:12-14 Paul explains exactly how to walk in excellence: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (NIV).

Living a life of excellence is extending a merciful hand to those around you in the same manner God displayed towards you.  There is nothing you can do that will gain favor or love with the Lord.  He already is madly and wildly in love with you just because you are His bride.

Today, and forevermore, I will hold myself to a standard of grace, of mercy, of excellence.  Not perfection.  What will you choose?

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