A More Excellent Way
by Daniel Amstutz
Where does excellence come from?
1 Corinthians 12:31 says, “but earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”
I have the privilege of working with students who have the heart of an artist, and each year I have to establish in them that “the art always flows from the heart.” In this annual journey, the life-changing discovery is made between excellence and perfectionism.
As believers, we can’t make it about the art because that is simply the fruit of the gifting. The doing always comes from the being. We begin from the innermost, and go to the outermost!
Proverbs 4:23-24 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
One hundred percent of life flows through and from the heart.
Skill, talent, and gifting are all important factors, and developing and stewarding what we have been given is vital. But we must realize that what we do flows from the heart.
Striving for excellence in our chosen field is important because excellence opens doors for us, and honestly, no one wants to hear a bad singer! But so many get caught up in striving for excellence from the outside in.
Practice does not make perfect! We can practice badly over and over and get worse.
Where does excellence come from? The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, gives us the answer as stated above in our scripture. We should earnestly desire the best gifts, but the way of excellence comes only from the love of God.
God’s love is the more excellent way.
As a believer, this is the foundation from which all creativity flows. Excellence is found in the love of God.
This is not about perfection! It’s about giving the best with what we’ve been given. Your best should not be compared with someone else’s best. And yet we do all the time, don’t we?
God made each of us an original, and we make really poor copies. When we live with the love of God as our source, there is originality, purpose, and divine design.
Only you can be you!
When your identity is found in God’s love, you’ll stop diminishing yourself. You’ll begin to see that in your weakness, God’s strength remains strong in you. Faith works by knowing how loved you are, and that love defies every place of limitation and makes the impossible possible.
Instead of “I can’t,” declare “I can do all things through Christ who is my strength.” His grace in you is much greater than what’s trying to limit or come against you.
It’s one thing to know that the Word tells us He loves us. It’s a whole other thing to “let God love you.”