When I was growing up an elderly neighbor lady, Mrs. Gee used to tell me, "Keep your shoes shined, it shows people who you are!" It took me a while to get what she meant. When I would enter their home everything was pristine, her and Mr. Gee were in their 80's, but everything was in order. They had very little money, but they took care of everything they had. I asked Mr. Gee one day what she meant about the shoes, He told me they had very little money their entire lives, but because he took care of his shoes, Mrs. Gee knew because he could be trusted with the small things she could trust him with her life. They were nearly married for 65 years, and he took care of her every day. God looks for people with that kind of passion and attitude of excellence for the bigger things.
"This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work." 1 Timothy 3:1
The Gees had very little money or the things of this world, but they always trusted the Lord. They did everything they did to the absolute best of their ability. They valued all they were given, each other, and the Lord. By doing so, they honored the Lord. Too often today, excellence is not something we strive for passion is based on the moment, not on the way to live your life and value what God has given or called you to do. Paul is challenging us with passion.
The word "desire" means to reach beyond, to stretch to grasp, it is a fierce, unyielding passion to have or be something. It is the inward attitude of a person to always desire to be and do the best. The Holy Spirit is speaking through Paul and saying that is the type of person you should be looking for to place in any type of leadership position.
It is a very sad thing when people have gifts, talents, and abilities and refuse to grow with them. It is equally disappointing if someone is limited in their gifts but chooses not to improve themselves or their position by studying, researching, or simply working to be better. This is showing the Lord they do not have a desire for excellence. The first thing the Holy Spirit list regarding quality leaders is, "desire!" Mrs. Gee taught me the little things matter because they reflect the big things. Jesus said, "he who is faithful with little will be given much." I am not a perfectionist, but I desire to grow in the Lord, my skills, my abilities, and in any way I can. I always want to be the best I can be for the Lord, not striving for perfection, just a deeper relationship with him.
When people look at your work, your life, or your attitude, are you emulating things that honor the Lord? Why would the Lord entrust great things to someone who will handle them with mediocrity rather than excellence? God has great things for all of us. If you know of someone, who is comfortable with the status quo gently encourage them to push into the Lord more. A desire for excellence is so essential the Lord puts it at the top of the list for what to look for in leadership. I hope it is at the top of yours. If we are not growing and learning, we are dying!