Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Excellence (Part 4 of 4)

Continuing in excellence, I refer to Paul’s writing in I Corinthians 13. Paul writes,

And now I will show you the most excellent way. 1Co 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1Co 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1Co 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Clearly, Paul’s most “excellent way” is love. Maybe it would be helpful to temporarily adjust Paul words as he continues writing. Since love is the excellent way, let’s replace “love” with “excellence”.
• Excellence is patient (vs. 4)
• Excellence is kind (vs. 4)
• Excellence does not envy (vs. 4)
• Excellence does not boast (vs. 4)
• Excellence is not proud (vs. 4)
• Excellence is not rude (vs. 5)
• Excellence is not self-seeking (vs. 5)
• Excellence is not easily angered (vs. 5)
• Excellence keeps no record of wrong (vs. 5)
• Excellence does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (vs. 6)
• Excellence always protects (vs. 7)
• Excellence always trusts (vs. 7)
• Excellence always hopes (vs. 7)
• Excellence always perseveres (vs. 7)

That puts a slightly different spin on things. It’s not really the same definition of excellence that I’ve heard during high school graduation ceremonies or the even in the ministry articles, seminars, books, or teachings. I think its clear; we need to monitor the way we understand and pursue excellence. Are we using the Kingdom’s version or a hybrid of American culture with a splash of traditional Christianity?

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