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07 November 2018
DEVELOPING AN EXCELLENT SPIRIT - REV. FUNKE EWUOSHO

The Bible says an excellent spirit was found in Daniel; and he had knowledge, and understanding, he could interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. (Dan. 5:12). The Message Bible says, “There was no one quite like him. He could do anything.” The NLT says Daniel “has exceptional ability.” The husband of the virtuous woman praises her saying; “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” (Prov. 31:29). The NLT says, “There are many virtuous and capable women, but you surpass them all.” The Message Bible: “Many women have done wonderful things, but you"ve outclassed them all.” The Oxford Dictionary defines Excellent (adj.) as being Of high QUALITY; extremely good, etc. To excel means to do better than, and also to do very well. People of excellence are not average or mediocre. God is a God of excellence. O LORD, our LORD, how excellent is Your name in all the earth.” (Ps. 8:1). Name represents Identity, Character and Authority.

1. Excellence Is First Of All A Spirit- An Internal Quality.

You don"t put or add on excellence. You don"t just copy or transplant it from somewhere. You don"t “fake it till you make it.” The robe does not make the monk. But you can receive it, by learning and understanding it; and then begin to develop it. Jesus described he who received seed on the good ground as he “who hears the word and understands it, who indeed produces” (Matt. 13:23).Don"t forget, Being precedes Doing; who are you becoming?

2. Excellence Is In The Quality Of What You Do, And Not In The Quantity.

People of excellence are people of quality! Quality reflects in the way - you talk (your tone, body language, etc); relate with and treat others ( Please, Thank you, Sorry, Excuse me, Pardon me, etc); your dressing; the use of your time; the services you offer; the way you keep your home; your organisational abilities, etc. That is, though excellence starts from within, it can be worked out! Eg, The visit of the Queen of Sheba: “And when the queen of Sheba had SEEN all the wisdom of Solomon, the house he had built, and the food on his table, the seating of his servants, and the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers, and the entryway by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her.” (1 Kings 10:4-5).Excellence attracts the right people to you. She came all the way from her country because of what she heard, which wasn"t even half of what she saw when she came- imagine that! Excellence attracts means and wealth to you. She GAVE to Solomon one hundred and twenty talents of gold, etc; though Solomon was already a very wealthy king himself. Excellence attracts quality people and things to you, because quality attracts quality. People of excellence don"t stay poor or unnoticed for long! “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” (Prov. 22:29). Or, “Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than ordinary people.” (NLT). Clearer still: “Observe people who are good at their work- skilled workers are always in demand and admired; they don"t take a back seat to anyone.” (MSG).However, it is the way you treat the people you meet on your way up, that will determine if you will ever get there, and how long you will stay there, if you do! You must learn to treat everyone right- rich or poor; that is the spirit of excellence. Don"t always look for 'connections", rather look for relationships instead. Don"t look for what you can get, always look for what you can contribute, to add value to people and things. Don"t use people, rather build and invest in people- that is part of excellence.

3. Excellence Is Not Primarily A Function Of Money, But A Function Of Your Vision.

The “deceitfulness of riches” tells you that your problem is lack of money, that if you had money, you would be excellent. It is a lie, an excuse, a cover-up. Money doesn"t automatically make you a person of excellence. Money only helps and enhances what you are already; it helps you do what you already have the ability and desire to do. If someone gave you some money now, you will only spend it according to your vision. Like they say, 'Give a poor man some money, and in a matter of time, he will be back to where he was- if not in a worse place!" You can, however, invest money to develop yourself into becoming a person of excellence.

4. Excellence Is Not Something For The Future; You Can Start Now, And From Where You Are!

“Even a child is known by his doings” ( Prov. 20:11).

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” ( Prov. 22:6). Start cultivating the right habits now- by thinking the right thoughts, speaking the right words and doing the right things; and like it"s been said, your habits will take you into your future. Determine the kind of future you want now, and start working your way towards it. Don"t wait till you are older, or richer, or bigger, or better; start now!

5. Excellence Isn"t A Function Of Your Environment.

You can determine and generate your own climate. Even in the wilderness, the Israelites carried their own climate; they had a pillar of cloud by day- to protect them from the scorching desert sun, and the pillar of fire by night- to keep them warm. You can be an oasis in the desert. You are in the world but not of the world. You can be bigger on your inside than your outside. Don"t let your environment or circumstances condition you, shape you, or determine what you do. Give your best all the time. If you develop yourself, and grow bigger on your inside; it is either your environment changes or you are taken out to a more progressive place. “You can"t keep a man from rising, who has enough yeast in him to rise.”

HOW TO DEVELOP EXCELLENCE:

Remember, 'good leaders are MADE, not born." The Bible says, “Add to your faith virtue” (2 Pet. 1:5). Virtue was used to describe “any quality that elicited preeminent estimation for a person.” It also means moral excellency and goodness.

1. Have A Desire And A Hunger.

Jesus said those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are blessed, because they will be satisfied. The Patriarchs of Faith desired a better country. (Heb. 11:16). The proof of desire is pursuit.

2. Be Humble, Teachable. Be Open To Learn.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (Jas. 4:6). Don"t think of yourself more highly than you ought to. (Rom.12:3). Have a sober and realistic evaluation of yourself.

3. Get Education; Both Formal And Informal.

“Formal education will give you Living, but informal education will make you a fortune.” Be a student for life and a student of life. Learn from others. Learn from your own mistakes.

4. Get Some Exposure.

ou have been formed by your nature, nurture and culture. You need to step out of your environment, to see and be challenged by what obtains elsewhere. No man is an island, entire on its own. Widen your scope. Expand your horizon. Enlarge your coast. Stop fishing from the same river. Travel to other places, attend conferences, seminars, read books written by others. Invest in yourself.

5. Get Trained.

Get a mentor, a teacher, a trainer- not just friends; and make yourself accountable to them. (Heb.13:7). You may be able to argue with friends, and reject their advice or treat it as a nice suggestion. You need a disciplined, regimented and systematic form of training also.

6. Diligence.

To be diligent is, to be careful and hardworking; showing care and effort. “Giving all diligence, add to your faith.....” (2 Pet. 1:5). “ The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy will be put to forced labour.” ( Prov. 12:24).

7. Practice Excellence.

Make it your second nature. Insist on being excellent. Don"t stop until your good becomes better, and your better becomes BEST! Don"t stop trying. Don"t give up; “Winners don"t quit and quitters don"t win!” Make excellence your goal and your trademark.

8. Don"t Stop Growing.

Somebody said if you stop growing, you start dying. There is a price to pay for growth and development; be willing to pay the price. It will cost you money, your pride, your comfort and even what you thought you knew! Growing, however, is very rewarding. A growing leader will have a growing people or organisation; because growth challenges growth in others. People respect and commit to a growing leader, not a 'perfect" leader. Don"t rest on your laurels. There is always room for improvement; improve on the last thing you did.

God bless you