Friday, January 28, 2011


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: excellence

How would you define the word excellence?

How are excellence and perfection different?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Well, perfection is something none of us will attain on this side of heaven. But excellence...well, to me it is slightly different. Excellence is seeking to live as Christ would have us live. Loving our neighbors, serving Him, developing our relationship with Him, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. It is living in the freedom of knowing Christ as our Savior. That is living a life of excellence...

    Living for Him, Joan

  2. To me, excellence is the vehicle, and perfection is the goal. By perfection, I mean in the biblical manner of mature, ripe, complete.

    I think we can strive to be excellent (active) but we strive to be perfected (passive) in Him and through Him and by him.

    Funny you mention this. I'm working on a SS lesson jumping off from Phil. 4:8

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

  3. Excellent is getting the results - knowing how not necessarily by yourself - perfection is having to do it by yourelf. sandie

  4. Off Topic: I just noticed that I won the son giveaway in the previous post. It WAS a giveaway, right? right?

    Jusssst perfect.

  5. Hi Sharon,

    "How would you define the word excellence?" -- I think that excellence is performing beyond what is expected. Excellence, is going the extra mile (and then some). It means succeeding above any established levels of recognition. The winner of the Superbowl is recognized as achieving a level of excellence as the best of 32 teams in professional football. We see this in sports and business when an accomplishment is reached that eclipses all others.

    "How are excellence and perfection different?" -- Excellence does not come without failure. Perfection is the absence of failure or blemish. In baseball, a perfect game is pitched when there are no base runners for the other team over nine innings. In bowling, a perfect game is completing a strike in every frame. Excellence may be sustained for a period of time, but it is not indefinite; except when it pertains to God. God is both excellent and perfect; always.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Blessings and peace.


  6. Blessings Sharon,

    I read this early this morning and pondered on it all day interspersed between my prayers. I started to read the comments and stopped myself (that's all so hard but I do want to write my own response without it being tainted or changed by theirs). MTJ always has profound thoughts...

    So this "fan the flame" will be short because he was so thorough and I will not define excellence. All I can say is this:

    Excellence and perfection, both are far off for me to attain, for I fall short in so many regards. However, excellence, I will strive for... and perfection I may struggle with (or elements of it that I do not attain) but I have no desire to strive for perfection for only HE IS PERFECT! I believe healing brings us to perfection on the other side of this life, only in heaven by God's grace. Just being there makes it perfection. Not mine but HIS!

    Excellence is what He hopes for me. I see value in excellence! I see God's value in me. It is a virtue of high quality. Going beyond the norm and reaching to the highest possibility. It's that brass ring or that gold ring! Since EX- is a prefix meaning out of or not... I don't think that -cellence is a root or word... so now I'm far off from defining.

    Since this verse has come up often this past week, this is what I think God sees or defines as excellence in Philippians:
    "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

    "And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,..."

    And I know James sees it in these words (since I'm reading James and focusing on God's Word:
    "...Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. "...

    Jesus is EXCELLENCE and made PERFECT for us to have His righteousness to save us from our own falling short of His glory but being capable to strive for better through constant change and sharpening! (Refined and sanctified)!

    Much more than I thought I'd share... sorry :0(
    Vaya con Dios and Que Dios te bendiga!
    peace, love and JOY,

  7. A person can be good, very good, or maybe even excellent. He can't be perfect. God Bless You.

  8. Hi Sharon -

    Excellence is GOD
    Perfection is GOD

    We can excel when we love, trust, and obey our excellent and perfect GOD. We cannot be perfect but we can certainly strive steadfastly to please our Lord who clearly knows our full potential.

  9. Such wise and EXCELLENT answers, my friends!

    Joan - Seeking to live as Christ would have us live. THAT is a truly excellent pursuit!

    Debbie - Excellence is the vehicle, perfection is the goal. Oooo...I LOVE that! That will be a great SS lesson - can I sit in?
    (Sidenote: YES, you won the son giveaway - check out the response I left you on Thursday's post re: that "giveaway.")

    Sandie - Excellence is getting results, but not necessarily by yourself. I like that. And I agree, being a "perfectionist" can sometimes keep you from pursuing excellence.

    MTJ - My brother, it's good to hear from you! As always, you have added such wise words. Excellence - "performing beyond what is expected." That is a VERY GOOD definition. (Loved the football example!) Perfect - absence of failure. Oh yes, that's good, too. Love how you ended your thoughts - "God is both excellent and perfect; always." AMEN!

    Peggy - Did you notice that Debbie used the same verses from Philippians? And I loved the other Scriptures you shared, too. They were PERFECT! "Going beyond the norm and reaching to the highest possibility." That was a great definition of "excellence." It is to be strived for in this life, and will be PERFECTED in the next! Yes, so true. Que Dios te bendiga tambien!

    JT - To the point, you have said it just right! We can never be perfect. I think that is precisely the reason I am SO glad that God chose to transfer Jesus' righteousness to me!

    Sandra - I think you gave a great definition of the meaning of excellence: to "strive steadfastly to please our Lord who clearly knows our full potential." I really liked that, because it implied that excellence takes work!

    As always, you have "fanned the flame" of my thinking today. As we live and work for our Lord, let us not settle for "good" - let's work toward "excellent" - asking for God's wisdom, strength, and power. One day, our reward for running the race with everything we've got, will be a PERFECT reward - eternal life in His Presence!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)