“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.” (Colossians 3:23 TEV)
The Bible identifies five characteristics of people who excel at what they do:
People who excel work with enthusiasm. Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best. Great performers give their best effort, no matter what the size of the audience: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Colossians 3:23 TEV).
People who excel sharpen their skills. They never stop developing, growing, learning, and improving: “If your ax is dull and you don't sharpen it, you have to work harder to use it. It is smarter to plan ahead” (Ecclesiastes 10:10 TEV). It takes more than desire to excel; it takes skill! Remember: You're never wasting time when you’re sharpening your “ax.”
People who excel keep their word. They are reliable. They can be counted on to do what they say they'll do. They excel because people of integrity are rare in our society: “Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!” (Proverbs 20:6 TEV)
People who excel maintain a positive attitude. Even under pressure, change, or unrealistic demands, they don't allow themselves to become negative: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16a NIV). And remember: “If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes” (Ecclesiastes 10:4 NLT).
People who excel do more than is expected. This is a secret that every successful person has discovered. You'll never excel by only doing what is required. Jesus said, “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously” (Matthew 5:40-42 MSG).
The Broadway lyricist Oscar Hammerstein once told the story of seeing the top of the Statue of Liberty from a helicopter. He was impressed because of the incredible detail the artist had sculpted on an area that no one was expected to see. In fact, the Statue of Liberty was completed with no idea that man would someday be able to fly over the statue!
Talk About It
When you’re tempted to cut corners, thinking, “No one will ever know,” remember that God is looking down and sees everything you do. Give him your best this week!
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.