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A Shortcut Here & A Shortcut There!

"It's not what people don't know that hinders them, it's what they know and don't do."

It is so easy for all of us to go through life thinking that one shortcut here and one there won't hurt us, after all, it seemed to be the quickest and easiest solution at the time. We may find out years later that the results of some of these shortcuts not only hurt us, but also affected others. A few shortcuts this year, and a few next year, added up over a period of five years, can WEAKEN many areas of our lives, resulting in WATERED DOWN RESULTS.

A few years back I heard this story: The owner of an old farm house hired a man to install a wood fireplace. Without the owner knowing it, this man took a shortcut and didn't put the fireplace and chimney in properly. Years later, the results were devastating. While the family were sleeping in the middle of the night, a fire started in the floor of the daughter's room, stemming from the fireplace and chimney. The fire alarms went off in the house and thankfully the family were able to escape the flames and get to safety. The fire marshal confirmed that whoever put this fireplace and chimney in, didn't put it in according to the fire safety standards, they must have taken a shortcut! WOW! Peoples lives were at risk here.

You and I have been given a tremendous gift - the freedom of choice. And with every choice we make, there is a certain consequence we can expect. Which will it be, will we be LAZY, MEDIOCRE or EXCELLENT at what we do?

Proverbs 24:33-34 ... says, a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep - so shall your poverty come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.

A lazy person does just what they feel like doing and wants everything to be easy. As a result they are not alert, they don't plan ahead and they fail to take care of things. Sooner or later, everything falls apart and winds up in a great big mess.

A mediocre person is not really bad, but not really good either - they are not worse than anybody else, but certainly not any better. They are people who are halfway between failure and success, and as a result, they are frustrated and unfulfilled. These people do just enough to get by, but never go the extra mile.

An excellent person is one who does more than what is required of them and they do what is right, even when no one else is around.

Excellence should be seen in everything we do, our conversation, our dress, the way we care for our home and car, the way we treat people, and so on. The fact is you and I do not serve an average God. We serve a God of excellence - one who does exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ask or think. As His representatives, we are called to show forth His character in everything that we do.

Excellence is not perfection! It means we have an excellent spirit. In Daniel 6:3 ....Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. I believe that this excellent spirit is many times just a matter of having an excellent attitude. The kind of attitude that says, "I'll do whatever I need to do, however I need to do it and whenever it needs to be done."

Whatever we pursue in life is what we are going to receive. So let's learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value, and when we do we will reap the rewards of excellence!

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