Your Daily Dose: Is Anything Excellent?
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
How many of us can say that we have achieved moral excellence? That’s a pretty lofty goal, to be sure, but it is the goal nevertheless when Paul speaks here of “excellence.” The Greek word is arete and was used by philosophers to mean “the fulfillment of a thing.” As an example, land that yielded a generous crop was considered to be “arete” or “excellent” because it had achieved its purpose. This is the kind of virtue that is demonstrated in life…it is demonstrated in action.
Arete is a word used in the New Testament to describe the moral excellence of God Himself (2 Peter 1:5). When a Christian lives a life that brings glory to God, he is fulfilling his purpose and thus exhibits arete or excellence. As a follower of Jesus Christ you tend to know this when you see it. It sticks out like a sore thumb in a world that doesn’t exhibit much excellence.
Of course, the ultimate source of excellence is God Himself; so take the time to study His attributes. Outside of that, notice and then give thinks for the many examples of excellence that can be found when Christians act like New Testament Christians! But don’t stop there. Become arete yourself by utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit to do the things that Scripture calls you to! In that, you will be achieving your purpose in life.