“…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8b (NIV)
The apostle Paul’s use of the word “excellent” in the Greek language is arête, which in its basic sense means “being the best you can be,” or “reaching your highest human potential.” It seems as though Paul is saying that if we are to pursue anything for the glory of God, we are to do so with the best of the ability He gives us.
Mediocrity is prevalent in our culture, especially among Christian artists. I have frequently heard well-meaning people declare “I’m just doing this for the Lord” as an excuse for poor quality. After all, if God is the source of creativity, then we would have to concede that His standard for excellence is high. In his book “Scribbling in the Sand,” Michael Card urges Christian artists to gaze upon God’s beauty as we pursue the call to create. He writes:
God is an artist, and He is beautiful. He has woven His image into the fabric of our lives, which explains our drive to create things which are beyond us and which we don’t always understand. Perhaps more important, He has issued a call to us that carries with it the possibility of obedience or disobedience: the call to respond to His beauty with creative worship.
It is my hope that this encourages you to strive for the highest level of excellence in everything you study, practice, compose, or perform. May the Lord bless the work of your hands (Psalm 90:17).
In His care, Shane