This week’s devotion comes from Hope for the Journey, a devotional series written by Dave and Ann Smazik.

 “Finally, beloved…if there is any excellence…think about these things.”  —Philippians 4:8 

The second half of this verse, in line with the call to think on the more practical expressions of deeper truths, also seems to provide guidance for a progression, or ascending, of our thoughts:  pleasing, commendable and, now, excellent.  The form of presentation also changes, almost to imply that excellence is more uncommon:if there is any excellence.”    

In the midst of the noise of our media-driven, word-saturated world, this phrase resonates.  Excellence is not easily recognizable using the earlier standard of truth, justice, honor, and purity.  Yet our desire and search for excellence in the truths of life are worship to the one who views us as having utmost value and worth. This standard is the one by which we are to see others, literally see all of God’s creation, as that of having the utmost quality.  In our human limitation, the standard by which we often assign excellence is fleeting.  Continuing our journey to be transformed into the image of Christ, we begin to see others and ourselves as God created us and excellence comes into view.  Something to think about.