Having a Spirit of Excellence Changes Everything

What is a spirit of excellence in the Bible? The Bible describes Daniel as having this spirit of excellence. Discover why it changes everything.


Discover Why Having a Spirit of Excellence Changes Everything.

There’s more about the Daniel of the “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” story in the Bible that we’ve all heard many times. When I heard about the spirit of excellence in his life it changed the way I want to live! I’ve even taught it to my boys, and I have seen it in them at times.

Let me share an example. It was past time for the baby to eat, and her loud crying let the whole neighborhood know. She gobbled up the few bites I quickly spoon fed her in my rush. I was also juggling my three-year-old, cooking, and trying to help get my oldest son out the door for an event. I needed to dart outside for a moment to talk to my husband before he left to drive my son to the event. The baby would have to be content sitting in her high chair with her cup.

After a few minutes, I came back into the room and realized I needed to help the three-year-old in the bathroom. It was quiet. I glanced over at the baby as I rushed over to the bathroom with him and breathed a sigh of relief. My second oldest son had grabbed the baby spoon and was patiently feeding a content baby.

He saw the need and stepped in to help without being asked. He could have avoided the whole ordeal, since her dinner was plain yogurt that night and the smell makes him nauseous. But he didn’t. I saw a spirit of excellence in my son that night!

What Is a Spirit of Excellence in the Bible?

You’ve probably heard about Daniel in the Bible. He’s most famous from the Daniel and the Lion’s Den story. But have you ever noticed the bolded words in the verses below about him?

Because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel… Daniel 5:12a ESV

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. Daniel 6:3 ESV

When Jehoiakim, king of Judah was reigning, he was overthrown by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Daniel was taken when the king demanded some of those of Israel who were competent enough to be trained to stand in his palace. When a king would win a battle, he would take the best spoils from the defeated. King Nebuchadnezzar took the people who had the best potential to be trained as part of the spoils.

I couldn’t imagine being in Daniel’s shoes. He was taken from his home and family, and thrown into the enemy’s hands to be trained up as one of them! He was to learn their literature and language, to eat their food and drink, and his name was even changed! It was as if the king wanted his new prisoner’s identity to be erased and rewritten. What a difficult circumstance! I think I would have crumbled into a sorrowful heap and given up!

Excellence is a spirit

But Daniel was set apart from the rest because of what was in him—an excellent spirit. It wasn’t just his ability, skillfulness, or good looks. Those aren’t necessarily excellence. Excellence is a spirit.

It’s not the same as the performance-based mindset of perfectionism, which is like being on a hamster wheel. You become tired working hard but not getting anywhere. God doesn’t get glorified in that.

When Daniel was called on to interpret the impossible, he didn’t say, “Yeah, I have the wisdom and insight because I’m awesome!” Instead, he boasted in God alone. He didn’t bring glory to himself because he wanted God to get the credit. The spirit of excellence in Daniel’s life opened the door for God to receive the glory!

Having a spirit of excellence in your life changes everything! #LiveYielded #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet

What Forms a Spirit of Excellence?

If you want a spirit of excellence, you simply have a different mindset than the average person. Having a spirit of excellence comes from a conviction that:

  • God is great, and so you want whatever you do to be great—because you are a reflection of Him.
  • You want to give your best to God, while always improving on that. It’s doing so while in and out of your house, no matter who is or isn’t looking.
  • God is the one who gives favor and giftings, and we have a responsibility to steward those things well.
  • Those in authority must be honored (unless they demand you sin against God).

Having these convictions will change everything! I hope you understand more of what a spirit of excellence is according to the Bible now that you’ve read this. But did you know that there are benefits associated with this?

4 Surprising Benefits of Having a Spirit of Excellence

There are much more surprising truths to having a spirit of excellence. I discovered an exciting pattern while studying the first six books of Daniel. I wrote about it at my friend, Kela Nellum’s. 

You are not going to want to miss learning four surprising benefits of a spirit of excellence!

4 Surprising Benefits of Having a Spirit of Excellence.
Join me at @Kela_Nellums' to find out 4 results of having a spirit of excellence in your life. #LiveYielded #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet

How have you seen a spirit of excellence in your life?


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28 Comments

  1. Such a great description. I don’t think I’d noticed that part of the verse before : ) Thanks for the examples and explanation!

  2. What a sweetheart you have in your second oldest! I want a spirit of excellence. I’m deficient in so many areas, I’m so glad God is renewing me;)
    Julie

    1. I’m glad you want a spirit of excellence, Julie! I think it starts by just desiring that, and I believe God will do it in you!

  3. Great encouragement, Kelly. I sometimes forget that I don’t have to be skilled at something in order to do it with excellence. It’s about the motive and being faithful, not about the outcome.

    1. I’m glad it was encouraging, Shannon! When I read your comment, a story popped in my head. One Sunday morning I was setting up one of the children’s classes, and I was training some new teachers who were watching me. I got almost done, and referred to a couple of things I didn’t set up quite right, and said, “It’s good enough!” One of the teachers in training looked at me and asked, “It’s good enough, huh?” Right then I felt convicted, and the Holy Spirit showed me I was not having a spirit of excellence. Sadly I walked away from it that morning, and I have remembered that story ever since. I hope to not make the same kind of choice in the future. I’ve learned it’s something I can grow in!

  4. That is a good kid you’ve got there! I love the way that having younger siblings help kids lose their self-absorption. And I love the story of Daniel!

  5. Kristi Woods says:

    Kelly, I’ve not thought about Daniel’s spirit of excellence. So.so.good. I’m going to share this with my teen daughter. It’s right up the alley of a discussion we held last night. Thanks for sharing as well as your visit to http://www.KristiWoods.net. Blessings!

    1. I’m so blessed by your comment, Kristi! I’m praying for your daughter. Your welcome for the visit; I always enjoy popping into your online space. 🙂

  6. Horace Williams Jr. says:

    This is so cool Kelly. I was just reading this part of Daniel today. I love that “spirit of excellence.” May we always strive to live that way in God’s strength. So neat to read your son stepping up when needed. I might have run for cover in my old days;) Thanks for sharing this poignant reminder. Have a fantastic weekend and blessings to you and yours.

    1. Horace, thanks so much for your visit and comment. I pray we can strive to live this way in God’s strength, too. I’m all for living in a way that He might be glorified! Many blessings to you!

  7. What a great observation on the life of Daniel. And we have that same spirit of excellence within us, because the Holy Spirit dwells in us to help and teach us.

    Blessings to you, Kelly! I’m your neighbor at #Grace&Truth

    1. Hi, Gayl. I think we all have the same spirit of excellence within us, but we don’t all walk in it. Willingness is key to many changes the Holy Spirit can make in us. I pray we are all willing and yield to Him as He shows us how we can live for His glory. Blessings to you as well!

  8. Lori @ Frog's Lilypad says:

    There is so much we can learn from Daniel’s life. Several months ago, while reading in Daniel, I jotted down the words “an excellent spirit” so I could study on them. Now I’m reading this and thought, I really need to do this sooner than later. Thanks, Kelly! Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    1. That is so cool, Lori! Yes, there is so much to be gleaned from these chapters in Daniel. I hope you will dig in soon!

  9. This is such an encouragement, especially during this busy time of year to strive for a spirit of excellence. I often get caught up in my busy days and forget that my purpose is to glorify God first and foremost. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome, Nicole! I’m glad it was encouraging. It’s great to see you here again. 🙂

  10. Having the spirit of excellence is not about striving to outdo others but it’s about glorifying God. May this be our reason for pursuing excellence. Thank you for sharing.

  11. God bless you for such a great exposition.

  12. OLUWAbukunmi says:

    This is so helpful! Thank you ma.

  13. Yahaya G. Idi says:

    Wow… This is so amazing!
    Thanks so much Kelly for sharing. Am so blessed this evening with this.
    God please help me 🙌

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