Monday, November 19, 2007

Understanding Excellence - Ps Kong Hee

Mediocrity is a curse that God wants to remove from our lives. Learn the practical steps needed to overcome the enemy called "average" and develop an attitude to excel in all that you do!

By Kong Hee

"Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm." (Dan. 6:3)
As a major biblical concept, excellence as the verb "to excel" appears no less than seventy times in Scripture. God reveals that excellence must be an important virtue and quality of every Christian's character and lifestyle. In Daniel 6:3, the Aramaic word for excellence (yattiyr) defines someone who is "pre-eminent, extraordinary, surpassing and going beyond expectations."


What does it mean to excel or to have excellence? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, excellence means:

-To exceed a given standard that is ordinary, average, terrible or unworthy.
-To be first-rate, first-class, exceptional, peerless, matchless, foremost, exemplary, top-grade, outstanding, superior, superb, superlative, splendid, deserving admiration, topnotch, A-1, marvelous, extraordinary, awesome, brilliant, fabulous, fantastic, heavenly, mind-blowing, stupendous, super, terrific, wondrous and pukka (best quality)!
-To be superior in quality, greater in quantity, to transcend your job description, and to outdo yourself each time.

The third aspect of this definition really appeals to me. Let me explore it with you carefully:

1. To excel means to be superior in quality.

Will Foster once commented, "quality never happens by chance, it is always the result of high intention." In other words, you intentionally go for quality! You pay great attention to details.

When you excel ...

-Go beyond just doing a job. Finish the job well.
-Reach beyond just selling a product. Meet your customers' needs.
-Desire more than just clinching a sale. Add value to your client's objectives.

That means that if you are a road sweeper, you sweep the floor as if you are Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, or Beethoven composing music, or Shakespeare writing poetry. You should sweep the road so well that all the angels in heaven will stop for a moment and admire your work saying, "Wow, there goes a great road sweeper who is doing a quality job."

For us at City Harvest Church, our motivation for constructing a new church building had to go beyond being merely functional. If function was all we cared about, then we would have built just an ordinary meeting hall that was both bland and mediocre. However, we wanted to construct a complex that would both inspire and challenge people to dream big dreams for a great God. We reached for excellence!

As such, all the finer details of the entire construction were extremely vital to the church leadership. The cleanliness and hygiene, the greenery and landscaping, the positioning of our furniture, the comfort of our chairs, the color scheme and lightings of our halls, the quality of air in the building, the paint job, the cleaning of unsightly scratch marks, fingerprints and sawdust in the facility were all important details that reflected excellence. We wanted a building that was excellent, not extravagant. We built a superior structure that would give God, not man, all the praise!

2. To excel means to be greater in quantity (i.e. to get more done).

Men and women of excellence are as productive as they can be for the Lord. Let me give you an example of what mediocrity instead of excellence may look like at the office.The mediocre employee always arrives a few minutes late for work. Then he blames his tardiness on the weather and traffic. Once in the office, he takes a long time to settle into his job. He's among the first ones to go for tea breaks and lunches and is usually among the last ones to get back to work at his desk. Instead of staying productive on his job, he is usually found chitchatting from cubicle to cubicle. Secretly, he uses office hours to promote his own personal multi-level marketing (MLM) products.

Half an hour before the official time to leave the office, our mediocre employee starts packing up. We find him freshening up in the restroom to get himself ready for his evening program.

He never meets his deadlines and is usually disorganized. He always forgets what he has promised to do and is habitually displaying a pattern of shirking responsibilities that are his. He then wonders why he's never promoted or why he never gets a better bonus at the end of the year. In order to save face, he has to find some "scapegoats." He usually blames his mediocrity on his bosses or tells others how he's being unfairly treated at work.

Our dull, unproductive employee invents a conspiracy theory that he is being backstabbed by all his colleagues whom he claims are jealous of his success! Sometimes, he may even blame his lack of success on the education system or society at large for being unfair toward him, for not giving him a chance to move up the economic ladder in life. What does the Bible have to say?

The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. (Prov. 10:4)3. To excel is to transcend your job description. The person of excellence doesn't do just what is expected of him or her. An excellent person goes beyond the call of duty. The person who is average says, "Hey, this is not my job, I'm not paid to do this!" The excellent person says, "I am here to provide the best service possible to my clients or customers even if it means going the extra mile."Mr. Badum Dev is a 45-year-old senior customs officer at the Singapore Changi Airport. His job is to make sure that passengers arriving into Singapore don't bring in what they shouldn't.

On September 3, 2001, a certain Madam Sukvindar Kuar and her two children came from New Delhi. They were on their way to Canada but were stranded at the airport because their flight was canceled. The woman and her children had only $200 left, spoke very little English and had no friends or relatives in the city.

Badum could have minded his own business and looked away. After all, helping stranded passengers was not in his job description. He was not in charge of customer service.However, the man took the trio home to his crowded 5-room flat. Together with his wife and kids, Badum made a room available for the three poor strangers from India. For the next few days, he personally tried to get a ticket for them. He called their travel agent long-distance in Canada repeatedly—all at his own expense. Badum even offered to pay for new tickets if necessary. The woman and her two children finally left for home four days later.In January 2002, Badum was awarded Changi Airport's Service Personality of the Year award. According to The Dictionary of Word Origens, to excel also means, "to rise above others." That's exactly what Badum did! He transcended his job description and rose above the employees around him. By doing that, he displayed a tremendous spirit of excellence! The next time a new round of promotion comes, guess who is going to get promoted first? You guessed it, Mr. Badum Dev!

Every single day, the person of excellence thinks this way:

"I am not selling my time and soul just working for the money. I want to make a big, big difference in the lives of others. The world is going to be a better place because I am here and God is working through me!"


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Cheat Grace said...

What do you think. Do megachurch pastors like Kong Hee plagiarize?

Pastor Isaac said...

Thank you for your message

Pastor Isaac said...

Thank you for your message