People of excellence are those who see through the clutching greed of our times—people who have declared their undivided allegiance to Christ’s message, people who have humbled themselves to Christ’s sovereign authority.
If you are greatly gifted, you may be able to do marvellous things that would cause the public to be swept up in your skills and in your abilities. In the process of your growing, you will find great temptation to make a name for yourself, to make a big splash, to gain attention, to get the glory, to strut around, to increase your fees, to demand your rights, and to expect kid-glove treatment. You’re in authority now! People are talking about you!
Let me remind you that if you’re in life only for yourself, you’ll have no endurance. On that precarious top of the ladder, you’ll always have to maintain your balance by manoeuvring and manipulating, lying, deceiving, and scheming. But if you’re committed to kingdom-related excellence, when you go through times of testing, you can count on kingdom endurance to get you through.
If you’re the kind of Christian who really wants the whole purpose of God, then you dare not leave out kingdom commitment. That means your motives must be investigated. For example, every time you make plans to acquire a sizable possession—a car, an expensive boat, a house, and such like—you must deal with it before God and ask: Is this His will? Would this honour Him? Would this glorify Him?
Am I suggesting that you take a vow of poverty? No, not that. My message is not that you go hungry and give up all nice things. I just say you give up control of them. Give all you have to the Lord God and trust Him to give back all that you need.
Excerpted from Dear Graduate: Letters of Wisdom from Charles R. Swindoll, Copyright 2007 by Charles R. Swindoll Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.