Excellence is often confused with perfection. Excellence is an attitude, not a result. When we strive for perfection, we strive to be the best, no flaws – what separates us from others is the result. But to strive for excellence is to strive to put into our character a care and attention to the details, to the small things.
Excellence is all about the little things.
Matthew 25 is all about the three servants who received money from their master while he was away – two invested and increased, and the other hid his and got told off. In verse 21, the master says to the first servant: “You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things.”
The master commended the servant for taking care with small things. That attention to the details proved trustworthiness and caused promotion and increase.
“You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things.” Matthew 25:21, NCV
Zechariah 4:10 talks of not despising the day of small things. We easily overlook small things because THEY ARE SMALL! Song of Solomon 2:15 talks about stopping little foxes that destroyed the vine – the big ones weren’t a problem, they just went for the fruit because they could reach it; the little ones couldn’t reach the fruit so they gnawed at the vine itself.
Small things are vital. They show that we care, they allow us to invest ourselves worshipfully. It’s easy to do ‘what’s required’ – anyone can do that. It’s the little things that show God we are worshipping Him in what we do.
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” Luke 11:42, KNJV
Religion will try to push us to the extreme of little things. Jesus critics the Pharisees in Luke 11:42 for turning care for little things into religious duty – devoid of its original motive: to worship and honour God.
The little things are the icing on a cake. Anyone can make a cake, slap some icing on. It’s the people in the cooking competitions who pay attention to the details – checking and double-checking the recipe, seasoning, timing, presentation – that show their excellence in cooking.
Pay attention to the little things – the good little things that keep us creative and different, and unique; and the bad things that can gnaw away at our relationships and vision and bring division or religiousness.