<<most excellent, top>>

Nearly always, someone can do better than we can. This either brings frustration if we must be top dog, or an incentive to achieve better if there is a competitive streak in our nature.  To excel requires diligence in learning and applying that knowledge often through repetitive practice. The Bible says we can take pride or satisfaction from doing things well – we feel good about the results and don’t need to compare ourselves with others (Eccl 2:24; Gal 6:4).  God lovingly accepts and comforts us even when we fall short of the goal. Nobody does everything perfectly all the time, so don’t be too hard on yourself. We can learn from mistakes made or a poor performance by seeing where we went wrong. The experience gained coupled with the desire to do better will assist us next time. Even if practice doesn’t make perfect at least it will improve the result through effort, discipline and persistence. 

Even though Joseph was a slave in a foreign godless country, he did his duties to the best of his ability.  His boss noticed, and rewarded him accordingly (Gen 39:1-6,21-23). Daniel and his friends also did their best while they were under adverse conditions. God saw the motivation and attitude of their hearts as they consistently applied themselves to the

To receive God’s best I must play by His rule of obedience

tasks given them (Dan 1:3,4,17,20).  We are to do our work wholeheartedly as if serving the Lord, and not just when the boss is watching (Eph 6:6-8). Do I apply myself wholeheartedly and conscientiously to the task at hand? Is my workmanship a good witness for Christ? Employers often are aware when their staff are not performing well, functioning below their potential.

“So whatever you to do, do it to the best of your ability as unto God for His glory” (Eccl 9:10; 1 Cor 10:31).  Even in the tiresome, unimportant ‘nobody will notice’ tasks. This develops good work habits, discipline and attitudes.  Am I always raising the standard of my workmanship? God knows what is best and wants to provide it for us if we give Him the opportunity by walking obediently (Jer 7:23; Mt 7:7-11). While we have our desires and dreams as to what we consider is best we are to be submissive to the Lord, just like clay in the potters hands who "shapes it as seems best to Him" (Jer 18:4). Be pliable and allow Him to make of us vessels of His choosing unto honour, His goals are so much higher and better than what we can envisage (Isa 55:9; Rom 9:21; 2 Tim 2:21).

The Bible instructs us to make the best (utilizing for the most advantageous outcome) of the time we have, and in fact every aspect of life (Eph 5:15,16; Col 4:5). God allows and designs situations that can bring about an increase of godliness and the work of His

What is the quality of my efforts?

grace and life within if we co-operate with Him (Rom 8:28,29). Why waste the opportunity? Paul's exhortation applies to us as well, "Do your best [diligently work] to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed..." in whatever you do (2 Tim 2:15).

‘Second best’ or inferior quality was not acceptable with the OT sacrifices (Lev 22:18-25; Num 18:29; Mal 1:8). God’s standards haven’t changed – He expects us to give Him our best too, just as He gave Jesus (the perfect sacrifice) in our place for our sin.

See also: compare/comparison, diligent, effort, excellence, practice, quality, self-esteem, work.