Monday, May 23, 2011
Building with Excellence
Sakichi Toyoda the founder of Toyota had a unique problem-solving technique. When something goes wrong, he would ask “why?” five times. By asking why, over and over, you eventually get to the root cause. This can also apply to our lives. By taking full responsibility for your life and asking yourself why something went wrong for example, you can even make failure feel like success. You can ask, did I give this my all? Because great effort can be as admirable as great success.
“1 Cor. 3 :9-10 - "We are fellow labourers together with God. So according to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder, I laid the foundation, But let every one pay careful attention to how they build on in.”
What are we building with our lives? Are we building with excellence? The Bible says we are a peculiar people, in other words we are designed to stand out. The way we do life, our speech, the ethics by which we live our lives should clearly identify us as Christians not just because we go to church or even offer benevolence, but because we are actually Christ like.
Daniel 5:12 says that Daniel had an excellent spirit,and that knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences and dissolving of doubts were all found in Daniel. In other words he was able to shift the blame or to shelter the blame of hard sentences.
All that stuff was in Daniel. A great question to ask ourselves is, what can be found in us? Ahh a bit of hurt - I well I know how to shift the blame real good to others not away from hard sentences like Daniel. Are we building our lives with the values of excellence, or just building our lives carelessly? Rom 2:18 says we should approve or allow things that are more excellent into our livees.
So here’s 5 questions to ask about building with excellence
1 - ON what are you building?
Math 7:24 says a wise man builds his house on rock. The stuff you're building is not the problem; what you're building it on is. There must be a solid foundation on which to build your life. But the question is are you building on principles or procrastination, what tools have you actively placed in the tool box of your life to finish the job well? Has your building site been cleared to make way for what God wants to build? Have you let go of your agendas or are you like the little monkey stuck holding on with his hand in the cookie jar? God's idea is this .. I make all things new. God doesn’t remodel or renovate, he only renews.
2 - WHAT are you building?
It’s vital to consult the builder and ask "what do you think would be right to build in my situation?" Sometimes this question may come out sounding a little like this. "What are you doing God??" Not a bad question as long as it’s a real question and not just an accusation. We must come across to God sometimes a little like Barbara from Bank World in the ANZ BANK television ads. (Us) :- when I said I “know” your plans, - ahh that’s wasn’t know with a silent k that was NO “without” a silent K - I NO - your plans (God) :- So what are we going to do with these plans then – (Us) :- not my problem, go away…look God you’re very valuable to me so I’m going to sign you up for something you haven’t even asked for – (God) :- but (Us) :- a a a a 2 late already in the system God. God’s ideals need to be the supervising values in our life. Begin to read the Master’s plan, look over the blue prints, His notes in the margins once in awhile, reconsult the drawing room
3 - For WHOM are you building?
Who is this thing for? What’s this all about? Who is the chief benefactor in all this? When you lose you...you find something altogether new, you discover the power of synergy. A team whose players play predominantly for themselves, can be a good team, but never a great team. This is because they never truly access the power of the game plan or get the power synergy to work for them. Too many buildings reflect the owners' agendas at the expense of the expertise of the designer. One of the greatest mistakes the Sunshine Coast makes continually is to relinquish the initiative to the fear of what we don’t want. I for one am tired of hearing we don’t want to become the Gold Coast. We need to forget what we don’t want to become and decide what we do want to become, because if we don’t, then we actually become something by default, and not by design. Fear, not vision and forward thinking, is shaping what we are becoming. The truth is we “are” becoming something all the time anyway and if we don’t take responsibility for what we are becoming we could become anything. God's Kingdom is never about us - what we are or what we don’t want to become, it’s about design, about what He’s building for the future. We need to influence the future or the future will influence us. If you want the influence and resource of Heaven, get with the design program, let go and let God start building something better and best in you. If it were only about Daniel, he would have just stopped praying in public. If it was just about Abraham he would have been offended when God asked for his only son. If it was just about Moses, he’d have stayed a prince of Egypt and let his people serve him. If it was only about Jesus he would never have left Heaven and would certainly never have left the garden and surrendered to His Father's will. It's never about what we are building, it's never about us, it's about God and His good, better or best plans for our lives.
4 - HOW are you building?
In what manner, is it with grace, favour, love> Or alternatively, intimidation, hurt, baggage, weighted down, unbalanced? Are you just going though the motions attempting to get thought the day while God's got this a huge agenda for your life. Seriously don’t balk at the size of His agenda. You need to get a better view of the size of God. God is extravagant, His love toward us is immeasurable. So don’t fear the unknown, take steps to toward it. Stop attempting to relieve your guilt and excuse yourself of the responsibility to excel in life. Our human potential is close to limitless, our God potential, infinite. It’s overtime for many of us to write ourselves some God sized checks, dream some God sized dreams and believe God for them. The key to touching the infinite is to embrace it. Make a start be a Jabez not a Jonah. Embrace excellence and the opportunity of God, don’t run from it. Get beyond the limits of the ordinary. God doesn’t live there. Paul prayed that we would have the ability to prove those things that are excellence. I Cor. 10:31 .. Do all things to the glory of God". Jesus' standard for us was this, the things I’ve done, you’ll do greater things than this in my Name. God is constantly calling us to live higher, to lift the standard, to believe in miracles
5 – Are you building excellence PROGRESSIVELY
2 Cor. 6:3 .. In all things we are approving ourselves, through much patience.
Don’t become faint doing what is good, what is best what is worthy what is benevolent. Excellence is a measure, you can measure it in your life. Paul said I strive toward a mark, a line, a goal, toward a prize. There is less than what is best. Paul says I strive to win. Well done good and faithful servant, enter into your reward. We at times don’t decide to press toward anything so we can maintain our own personal self-respect. We sometimes throw ourselves a party with nothing to celebrate. Excellence has priorities if there’s best then there’s less than best. If we are going to excel we must prioritise some things over others. A University student must prioritise study over social activity. Someone who is married must prioritise one person over others. A parent must prioritise family over a promotion sometimes. It’s so sad that some people go though their entire journey without any clear sense of heavenly or purposeful intention about their lives driving them forward. Excellence must have a progression to achieve a goal. I think one of the greatest reasons some struggle is because everyone starts out with dreams hopes and aspirations, but setbacks and obstacles make us give up on the journey. 2 Cor. 6:4 says in much endurance we prove those things that are of God. History often only remembers excellence or infamy, what is wonderful or decidedly less than perfect. If you want to leave a mark with your life you must do it in excellence. Animate the good things and make every effort to disable and minimize the worst. Excellence, as Paul says, presses toward a particular mark, it strives toward the goal; it never loses sight of the best. He said I haven’t arrived yet I’m still striving toward the prise. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther king, Mother Teresa. Were not necessarily extraordinary people just people totally committed to extraordinary goals. Don’t give up or settle for the status quo. Don’t fall for the age-old trick, well I guess this is my lot in life, this is the hand I’ve been dealt. That is just copping out on life, cashing in the chips, hitting the default button on your dreams. We make the mistake of anaesthetising ourselves from the responsibility to excel because it dulls the pain of the long journey. If it’s great then its worthy of greater effort, if it’s God then it’s worth your all, your best, your priority and your sustained pursuit. Goals reached easily bring little satisfaction. Goals laboured over bring incredible fulfillment.
Think about tomorrow today, imagine what you want for your life and start building it today with excellence.