Developing an Excellent Spirit

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Daniel 6:1-4 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.

I am inspired and challenged by these few verses about Daniel. They tell us that he had an excellent spirit, and when it came to matters of the kingdom that had been delegated to him, that those wanting to bring him down couldn’t, because upon close examination, there was nothing found to warrant a complaint or fault. No error was found in him because he was faithful.

I want to do things with excellence but I need to be careful that my natural tendency to be a perfectionist doesn’t cloud my thinking. Perfectionism is an enemy of excellence. Perfectionism speaks of an attitude that demands perfection and is unsatisfied with anything else. I’ve found this dissatisfaction to feel like an inner frustration. And to be honest, more often than not, it’s not because something isn’t perfect, it’s because it’s not MY version of perfect.

Excellence speaks to being exceptional, excelling and being superior in the thing you’re responsible for. When we talk about doing things with excellence or having an excellent spirit, it’s quite far from perfection. The Spirit of God shows us what the final objective looks like, and our mind assesses the necessary steps needed to execute it.

When given the opportunity to start a Creative Arts Studio, I had a clear vision in my mind of what the final product would look like. It was something I had dreamt into for years, and along the way the Lord dropped keys that I know I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Is The Studio perfect? Absolutely not, but I can honestly say, based on my observation and the feedback of students, parents and passers by, that it is run with excellence.

My prayer is that as I continue to work at what’s been entrusted to me, I’ll become the kind of person Daniel was – so excellent and faithful that others can’t find fault in what I oversee.

If you’re wanting to grow and develop an excellent spirit, I’ve included some practical steps below.

Take Ownership
– areas of delegated responsibly at work
– ministry involvement at church
– a specific project

Start With The End In Mind
– It must be clear, tangible, and simple to communicate to others.
– Dream and imagine about the end goal regularly.

Develop a Plan
– Write practical steps you feel NECESSARY to facilitate your end result.
– Think through the practical steps from various angles (in my case, from the perspectives of parents, students, volunteers, etc.).

Seek Input
– Especially if this is new to you, ask those who have had some success to review your plan and offer feedback.

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