Key Word – Proverbs 22:29 – Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men
René was my driver in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. He is an excellent person. We had a car that we left with him whilst we stayed in the UK. He looked after the car so well, that whenever we arrived back in Cotonou, the car looked newer. René also was quite neat and tidy, he spoke English, French and about five or six local dialects from Ghana, Togo and Benin fluently.
René was also quite honest and forthright. He soon became my regular interpreter and preached alongside me at many of our meetings. I really wanted to do something substantial for René, but all the years we worked together, apart for the tips and his salaries, all I did was just pray for him that the Lord will reward him.
A few years later, out of the blues René got a very important phone call. Before René joined us, he used to be the official chauffeur of the Nigerian Ambassador to Benin. He worked till the ambassador was abruptly recalled and his position became redundant. This same ambassador had now been posted out to the USA and he needed a Chauffeur. He remembered his excellent driver in Benin and called for him. René ended up going over to the States with his wife and two children and through this move he was able to attend university and earn a degree.
Excellence pays! There is always a reward for excellence. Yes, excellence also has a price. But the prize at the end is always more than worth it. René was rewarded for all those years he was faithful in washing and polishing the cars and learning all those languages. Excellence has rewards.
There are two main consequences to excellence:
The first one is men will recognise and reward you. Men will honour you for being excellent. The bible says that excellent people will not just stand before ordinary men, but that they will stand before kings and rulers. Excellence commands honour, dignity and rewards. This is what made Daniel, Joseph, Esther and Nehemiah significant people, who advised kings and rulers in their time.
The second consequence is even more amazing. God recognises and rewards excellent people. One reality check is that God really sees. There are people, who only do things well when there are people around to observe them and reward them. The bible encourages us not to practice ‘eye service’, but to do our very best when there is no one watching and our Father who sees in secret will reward us openly. It is interesting to note that a lot of what makes people excellent are the little things done behind the scenes and in obscurity.
David the son of Jesse comes to mind. David had killed a lion and a bear as he looked after his father’s flock at the back-fields of Bethlehem in Judea. He had penned many psalms and spent many hours just worshiping God on his harp. He became so skilful as a musician in that time too. God made him come before king Saul, first to defeat the giant Goliath, then as a musician in the king’s court, then a great warrior and eventually he became the king of Israel. God selected him and appointed him as king. David was just being excellent at what he did and God made sure he got to the top.
Excellent people are like cream; they always rise to the top.
Go on and start being an excellent person and watch how men will begin to respect and honour you; but the best part of this is that God will also recognise you and reward you. Even if no one see you on this earth and no accolades come to you, you can be rest assured that one day God will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”And this is the ultimate reward for excellence!
Let’s Pray – Father God, your word says it is you who works in us both to will and do your good pleasure. Today Father grant us the abundant grace to be excellent in every area of our lives. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.