It’s no longer business as usual for the world and certainly not for the Body of Christ. The days of sitting by the sidelines are coming to an end. Our focus on the blog this year will be on some of the battles we will have to contend with this decade as Christians.
Years ago, I had a conversation with God about ministering in the marketplace. I was thinking about how different the marketplace is as an environment compared to church and wondering how to bridge the divide.
“How do we get non-believers in the workplace to listen to us when half the time we don’t even agree as believers?” I inquired.
“What’s one language everyone understands regardless of their beliefs?” He asked me.
Pause. “No idea.”
“Excellence,” He responded.
The more I thought about it and the more we talked about it, the more I saw the wisdom in it.
We can argue about denominations, doctrines and everything in between, including the existence of God. But we can all generally pick out value when we see it. Obviously, what’s one man’s treasure is another man’s garbage. But inherent in what God was telling me was to pursue excellence in what I do in His name. Because my excellence at work would grant me entrance in the rooms and lives that He wanted me in.
True to His word, I can’t tell you how many opportunities I’ve been offered for showing up excellently. For doing more than the bare minimum. Did God’s favour have a role to play in it? Absolutely. But when you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t think God exists, it takes more to win them over than telling them how highly favoured you are by a God who’s fictitious to them.
The battle of excellence is a battle against mediocrity. When you do something at work, do it well, and do so consistently, people take note. It bothers me to no end when I deal with Christians in business or institutions that identify as Christian and their product/service is sub par. It’s a terrible testament to a God whose blueprints are designed with excellence in mind.
People shouldn’t get surprised that a Christian can do outstanding work in their field. It should be the norm. If anything, we shouldn’t be maintaining the standard, we should be setting it. What they say about being so good that they can’t ignore you? That should be us.
Shouting from the rooftops about how awesome our God is won’t mean much if the daily experience and encounters people have with us as Christians are anything but.
How can we represent a kind God when we’re brutal in our dealings with our work colleagues and customers?
How can we represent a faithful God when we don’t follow through on our business commitments and timelines?
How can we talk of a good God when there’s little good to be found in what we’re doing at work?
Our battle of excellence isn’t just about being excellent in our craft. That matters a great deal. But it’s all the more about being excellent in our representation of God’s nature.
When someone doesn’t believe in the faithfulness of God, can they get a taste of it when you keep your word in all your business dealings with them?
When another doesn’t believe in the love and mercy of God, can they experience it in the grace they get from you as their business partner?
Sermons are not just for pastors to preach on Sunday mornings. Each one of us has the opportunity to be a living epistle everywhere we go. This is the Gospel of Jesus at work. In our homes, our schools, our workplaces and even our churches.
“You need a daily infilling of the Holy Spirit.”Bishop Gobanga
This something my spiritual father reminds us often that I hold dear. The more we dwell in God’s presence, the more we interact with Him, the more we are transformed to be like Him. The more we are like Him, the better we can represent Him.
We can only bear witness to who God is to the degree we have encountered Him. You can’t be a witness for a stranger. Even the courts of men would not give you audience. To qualify as a witness, you require relevant knowledge of who or what you’re talking about.
How well do you know the God of excellence? The God who made the earth and called it good? The God of the judges who established His divine rule in their times. The God of the kings who ruled with such righteousness that the people rejoiced. The God of the prophets who saw beyond their times and boldly decreed His will on earth as it was in the heavens. The God of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Deborah, Daniel, Esther and so many more.
Who is the God of excellence to you? If He is mere theory, then you will have little more than information to give those around you. Information may fill their minds but has no power to transform their hearts. If He is Spirit, alive and living in you, then you will have the nature and the ability to carry His name with excellence in all you are and all you do. And when they interact with you, they will encounter the One living in you in immeasurable, excellent ways.
“O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!”Psalm 8:1 NKJV