If you’ve ever worked with me, you would know that I put a lot of effort into doing what I do well and I’m always looking to grow and improve. I’m far from perfect, but I’d like to think I am giving my very best each day. So far so good, right? As I was visiting with a woman recently who shared her experience of making a transition into a new job, she said something that struck me at my core. She was sharing that she needs to focus on doing her work with excellence and not be so concerned with what people think of her.
I suddenly realized that I spend way too much of my attention on what people think of my work. While I want to do my work with excellence in my heart, my first concern is often what people think of me because of my work. To put it bluntly, my focus is often more on glorifying myself than glorifying God.
Daniel provides a wonderful example of what it looks like to do our work with excellence. He may have had his moments, but there are three main mindsets he adopted that allowed him to walk confidently in God’s will and achieve all he did for the Kingdom:
- It’s not about me – Daniel didn’t stop to worry about how his needs would get met, what people thought about him or how he could possibly handle each challenge that came up. He had a strong faith and trusted God to take care of those details.
- How I feel makes no difference – I’m not suggesting you ignore your feelings and I strongly recommend you never stuff them. Daniel felt fear at times, but he didn’t let it control him. Instead, he went to God in prayer, expressed his fears, and God gave him peace and the courage to move forward.
- The glory goes to God – Our culture constantly encourages us to take the glory for ourselves. Position, power, authority, success and money are things people work and strive for every day. We have to be so careful not to let those things become idols in our lives. Daniel was careful to give God the glory for everything God enabled him to do.
Studying the book of Daniel helps me to remember that true power, authority, prosperity and life comes only from God. To Him be the glory!