Yes doubtless, and I count all things [to be] loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [to be] dung, that I may win Christ...
- Websters 1828 Dictionary defines “Excellence” or “To Excel” as:
- To go beyond
- To surpass in good qualities
- To Outdo
- To have good qualities, or to perform meritorious actions, in an unusual degree; to be eminent, illustrious, or distinguished.
- Thesaurus.Com expounds on “Excellence” as:
- Superiority, distinction, good, merit, nobility, perfection, quality, significance, value, virtue, worth, rightness, noblesse.
We find then that excellence is defined both in the act of excellence and of being excellent in nature/quality. We see the high quality work of a craftsman as a work of excellence; the work of a Mozart or Bach as a musical work of excellence. We also see that the person themselves can be considered of high quality or value. Thus a person of royal heritage can be called “You excellency”.
Passion can be defined as: “An educated decision that something is worth everything!”
Jesus the Anointed One is worth our every pursuit. He left all he was to spend time on earth and a devils hell to redeem us from the curse. He calls us a treasure hidden in a field. He gave all to purchase us! So Paul tells us:
Yes doubtless, and I count all things [to be] loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [to be] dung, that I may win Christ,
Therefore we must spend all our life, time, talent, treasure: Pursing His life in us, His calling in us, His vision for us. For Paul states here that The Anointed One and Anointing of the Anointed One is worth more than anything we pursued beforehand! Anything in our lives that keeps us from pursing Him is worth-less.
This pursuit of the excellence of God permeates and saturates our lives. It is not a Sunday issue. It is a daily, moment by moment issue. Excellence in Christian life requires putting aside certain things to pursue other, more valuable, things. As Paul also taught, now that I am a man, I must put away childish things. Every degree of excellence we attain will most likely require that we put away or put aside something that has held us back from this level of excellence until now. Is your pursuit of sports and Monday night football worth more than your marriage? Is your career worth more than you child? Is your promotion worth more than your prayer time with God?
As life progresses you will either move toward or away from you calling and purpose. To move away from your calling and purpose is to move toward distraction, delay, and default. It is to engage in a path to spiritual bankruptcy. To move toward your purpose is to move toward clarity, passion, and pursuit. To move toward your calling and pursue your purpose brings all of life’s many options into sharp focus. When you prioritize life in regards to purpose all other options reset and reorder on their own. It becomes clear which items must go and which can stay. When pursuing a passionate purpose the little things can start to become a hindrance and they must go. But you will want them to go, as they will irritate your passion. These things just naturally fall off as they no longer fit in your pursuit.
This excellence then will consume every part of your life. Your pursuit of the excellence of God causes you to be a better husband, worker, boss, voter, politician, leader, follower, church member, and church leader. It will cause you and me to be more interested in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the lonely. I will be interested in the strangers, orphans, widows, and those in prisons. You will become one who is known for having a Heart Wide Open to the men and women God created and loved and died for.