Archive for August 17th, 2010

Confusing Excellence and Godliness

August 17, 2010

Over the last few years I have heard a lot about pursuing excellence.  I am concerned that people may begin to confuse excellence with godliness.  They are not synonymous terms.  It is true that we should do our best,  that “whatever we do, we do as unto the Lord”.   However, a person’s best may still be mediocre in the eyes of the world.  A godly young person may be an average athlete or musician.  They may pour their heart into their efforts and still be average, not excellent.  That does not make them any less pleasing in the eyes of God.  On the other hand, a person may be a gifted athlete or musician, work very hard and be excellent in their fields of endeavor.  However, they may be arrogant or proud, or fall short in many other ways, not being very godly at all.

On a different note,  a church may have excellent facilities, a beautiful building, the best equipment money can buy, a polished performance by the musicians and preacher, achieving excellence in every observable way, but they may be cold, loveless and dead.  A different church may have an old building, worn carpet, and a failing sound system, with less polished musicians and preacher, yet they may be filled with warmth, love, and the presence of God.

It is possible to be godly, but not achieve excellence.

It is possible to be excellent, but not godly.

I submit that God is more pleased with godliness, than excellence.

In our pursuit of excellence,   we should remember that it is, at best, a secondary virtue.   We should place more emphasis on godliness.