Definition of Christian Character and Integrity

The Character Trait of Excellence Results in Consistency, Reliability and Trustworthiness

Excellence is often thought of in light of academics or athletics. An excellent student often hascertificates, degrees, awards, even a good paying job to prove their level of academic excellence. Likewise, an excellent athlete has awards, medals, trophies, even a position on a professional sports team that shows how excellent an athlete they are.

The world’s judgment of excellence is based on recognition and reputation. If someone is known worldwide, that person has a reputation for being an excellent individual.

However, Christians are not judged by the world’s standards of excellence. It cannot be measured by financial success. It is not awarded based on good conduct. Excellence is something that is born in the heart of a believer. It must be “caught” by the believer as an inner personal conviction rather than “taught” to them as an outward behavior. And most importantly, Christians who exhibit excellence do not seek the praise of men but the glory of God.

Excellence is more than doing a good job. It involves more than performing the bare minimum. Perhaps the best way to define excellence is to describe what it is not. Excellence does not imply mediocrity or complacency. It is not doing something of poor quality or throwing together a patchy project. The opposite of excellence is inconsistency and unreliability, leading to untrustworthiness.

On the other hand, a person with a spirit of excellence can be trusted to do quality work every time without question, no matter the task. Excellence goes hand in hand with integrity. The character of an individual can be judged by what they do when no one is watching. The one who still strives to do things with excellence even when no one else notices is a person with integrity. That is a person who can be trusted.

People who exhibit excellence are like a man who spends endless hours day after day for many months carving a 30-foot marble statue that will be placed in the middle of the town square. After nearly a year, his work is almost complete. But one day, while putting the final touches on the face of the statue, the chisel slips creating a small scratch on the statue’s nose. Without hesitation, the artisan stops his work and begins carving a new statue from a fresh block of marble. When asked why he started over when people wouldn't notice such a tiny flaw from so high up, he simply states, “I will know.”

This same kind of excellence can be implemented into every facet of a Christian’s life. While most people within the church will not be carving a marble statue, they certainly will be involved in some area of Christian service.

An individual who wants to excel in everything they do, no matter how small the task may seem, has a desire that supersedes any requirement of being noticed or appreciated. There is an understanding that even if no one else knows, two people will know: they will and God will. And God’s approval is much more valuable to them than the praise of man.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 speaks of works that God will call into judgment, even things done in secret, good or bad. This thought alone can convict a person of excellence to do their best quality work at all times.

When it comes to the various elements of service within the church, there are many things that most people will not notice, especially in the area of printed and online material that is produced for the church. Not everyone reading it is an English major or a spelling guru. Not everyone has an eye for artistic design or page layout. Most average people are not paying attention to those kinds of fine details. But even the fine details that most people will miss are still important and worth doing with excellence.

Written by: Amy Miller