Ten Times Better

An Excellent Spirit

People communicate in several ways. We communicate through our words, the way we carry ourselves and the way we dress. We also communicate our spirit through our words and through our body language. Our spirit is the most important way to communicate.

Our spirit is the disposition that we develop; it’s the way we perceive life; it’s our attitude. More important, whether we have a good spirit or a negative spirit helps determine our destiny. It will either color or toxify everything that we do. It will either encourage or discourage. We can have an angry spirit, a defensive spirit, or an insecure spirit for years. We can carry around a bitter spirit, a broken spirit, and a victimized spirit. Or, on the other hand, we can carry around a confident spirit, an assured spirit, and one that is an excellent spirit.

Our spirit will either motivate or de-motivate us. It’s like the fuel of our life. It will cause us to see things like a victor or a victim. It will help us feel resilient when we get knocked down or it will cause us to feel dejected and rejected each time we fall down. That’s why it’s important that we pay attention to the kind of spirit that we’re building and developing. Everyone has the option. An excellent spirit doesn’t come as standard equipment; it’s optional. We choose.

What exactly does that phrase excellent spirit actually mean? The term is from a Hebrew phrase meaning “landscape that is broken from a massive rock” or a “jutting rock.” It’s like tectonic plates of earth during an earthquake that crack and one shoots out or juts through the landscape so that it can be seen from miles away. It’s so obvious, it marks everything about it and people take direction from it. That’s the word for the kind of spirit Daniel had, and the Bible translates it as an excellent or distinguishable spirit.

God is saying that the type of spirit we have will mark and define everything about our life. It is not only how people see our lives, but also how we see life ourselves. It’s all determined by the kind of spirit that we have.

Developing a Spirit of Excellence

1. Decide Once and For All to Identify with God!

First, make a decision once and for all to identify with God. We will experience all kinds of tugs-of-war, and we’ll get ambivalent, but we’ve got to make that decision. Daniel did it, and there’s going to come a time in our life when we’re going to have to do that too.

2. Trust in and Accept God’s Way

Sometimes we put our fist toward heaven and ask, “God, why are you letting this suffering go on?” Instead, we should be asking, “Lord, what do you want me to become? What things do I need to change in my life?” We’re a lot more receptive when we’re in that posture. When God deposits those lessons and things turn out for the good, don’t lose those lessons. That’s the best classroom of life, because He can give us back His compassion.

3. Be Willing to be Tested

This is the toughest step of all in developing a spirit of excellence. It is the hardest because we don’t like tests, but we’ve got to be willing to be tested. I didn’t say tempted; I said tested.

We are tested, not tempted. The devil will tempt; God never tempts. God tests in order to certify and document. Our faith is given to us when we receive Christ. We have faith, but that faith is not yet tested. Once it’s tested and pressed a little bit, out comes mature character.

Through suffering comes patience. Through suffering comes an attitude of trust and a gracious spirit. Insight, wisdom, understanding and compassion for others also develop when we’re going through problems. These character qualities are produced by tested faith. The proof of our faith is more precious than gold.

“… That the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:7).

If we have a faith but haven’t produced anything, we’re no better because of our faith. When our faith starts producing these things because it’s been tested, it becomes more precious than gold. We’ve got to be willing to let our life be tested. If we fail when it is tested, we will know where we’ve got to work. If it comes through, it’ll produce something in our life that will be the basic ingredients of a spirit of excellence.

 

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