Key Text: Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Wimbledon is here again! This is the zenith of tennis tournaments and this is where the best meet and compete with the best. My personal opinion is that the most skillful players are not the best players. The best players are those that have great skill and incredible discipline. The French players, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet are some of the most talented players on the circuit. The are prodigiously gifted, yet they fail to win the big tournaments. On the other hand Djokovich, Federer, Murray, Nadal, Serena, Sharapova always seem to rise to the top and win. I know Nadal has been knocked out this year, but he will be back. Regiment and routine can be boring. Some of us get easily bored with repeating things over and over again. But this is one unavoidable fact of life. If you are to become excellent at something, then you have to have a regime that you practice daily over and over again. Someone said “repetition is the mother of skill”. In short it has to become a habit.
Looking at Federer play, you get the feeling he expects to win every time. He has developed the habit of playing flawless tennis and winning. It is a habit for him. But probing deeper, we will discover that there are many things Roger does everyday like clock work that has made him so excellent.
So today we are going to examine 7 habits of excellent people, from the bible perspective.
- They finish whatever they start. The have a habit of finishing and completing tasks. Jn 19:30 – Jesus said it is finished. Jn 4:234 – Jesus said to them, “ My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. God is a finisher and he wants us to have a habit of finishing. People abandon projects, abandon children, abandon jobs, abandon school. This is a very bad quality and excellent people must finish the tasks. Example of the surgeon operating on a sick patient and abandoning the patient in the middle of the operation. Ask yourself every time, ‘What are the consequences of you not finishing’?
- They have a habit of not making excuses – Proverbs 22:13 -The lazy man says, “ There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets. Daniel did not make excuses in Babylon, when the king gave the command to kill all the wise-men because they could not interpret his dream. He could have made excuses. Jesus could have made excuses and not gone to the cross. He could have backed out anytime. He could have avoided the woman at the well, because she was a Samaritan, but the scripture clearly states – Jn 4:4 –But He needed to go through Samaria. Excellent people avoid making excuses. If you want to find excuses there are a thousand. Try not to make excuses, just do it!
- They Keep Time – Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. They are never late. They are always there when you need them. They understand the value of time, so they don’t waste time. Gen 18:14 – Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Eccle 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time. Gal 4:4; But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. God is time conscious, though He is not bound by time, He uses time.
- They are tidy and neat – Jn 20:4 – Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Excellent people are neat people. They try to keep things orderly and neat. It is rare to find an untidy person that is excellent. When we were growing up, they used to tell us ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’.
- They are not wasteful – Jn 6:12 – When they had all had enough, He said to His disciples, Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces that are left over), so that nothing may be lost and wasted. Excellent people are not wasteful people. They utilise everything to its optimum. They are not careless with things and they don’t destroy things. They care for things as if it is their own. They really never waste anything.
- They care about the details, they sweat the small stuff – Luke 12:6-7 – “ Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Ps 147:4 – He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. They focus on the details. They never miss the details. Look at the tabernacle and the details. Luke the Physician, was an excellent man. He detailed the gospel so finely. Look at Luke.
- Excellent people are never ashamed to ask for help or receive help – Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross – Matthew 27:32. What you need to know, someone already knows. Where you need to go, somebody has already arrived there! Excellent people, tap into the knowledge of others and learn from them. They are not proud. Daniel asked his three countrymen and friends to pray with him to solve the King’s enigma. Esther called for her household and Mordecai to pray and fast for 3 days before she went before the king. Jesus asked for his 3 disciples to pray with him in the garden of Gethsemane.
So if excellence is from God and we are children of God, then we have excellence in-built into us. That’s why as human beings we like good things. We like comfort and we like clean things. We can all recognise excellence when we see it.
Ps 16:3 – As for the saints who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
Php 1:9-10 – And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
2 Cor 4:7 – “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us”
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.
God wants His children to take over and rule the world, but he will not give it to sloppy foolish children. He is looking for those who have the Spirit of excellence. That is why the book of Daniel is all about this end time. We must pursue excellence, live in excellence and practice the habits of excellent people.
Let’s Pray: Father God thank you showing us that excellence is a habit. It is what we do daily that develops into excellence. Please give us the grace to pursue excellence and live excellent lives, in Jesus name. Amen.