Excellence Matters (5 Keys to Unlocking Favor)


Working hard, even for God, will never make God love you more. What these principles will do is open doors for you and increase your capacity to receive all the blessings that he wants to pour out on you. Excellence is a factor in your success, but it is not a factor in your acceptance by God.

According to Acts 10:34-35, God is not a respecter of persons. In other words, he doesn’t show favoritism. But, according to Hebrews 1FullSizeRender1:6, God is a rewarder of diligence and faith. So there are actions and attitudes we can possess that will actually open up our lives to even more favor.


The number one key to developing excellence in your life is being teachable. If you have a desire to grow and be an asset to the team around you, you have to be teachable. You have to be open to criticism without throwing up a defense. And don’t just listen when someone gives you criticism, but actively seek it out. That’s right, ask your boss, teacher, parents, friends, “Hey, is there anything you see in my life/work that I can be doing better?” Just imagining that conversation probably makes you pucker up a little. It is not easy or comfortable, but is one of the greatest traits of a of a man or woman of honor. The greatest athletes, never stop looking to coaches for ways to grow and stretch their abilities. In the same way, successful people stay on the lookout for opportunities to grow.

A long time ago, I heard a great speaker named Jimmy Evans say, “I’ll take someone who is teachable over someone who is gifted every time.” That statement stuck with me. It’s encouraging because, even when I don’t feel especially talented in an area, I can still bring value if I am willing to stay open to instruction.


Another place where attitude opens doors for you is on your face. If you walk around with a blank stare or scowl on your face, nobody is glad to have you. On the flip-side, if you are alert, and smiling, it makes people glad you are on the team (sometimes even subconsciously).  This includes bosses, and customers. Trust me, that quiet mysterious thing is not working for you nearly as well as you think.

This may seem basic and even a little silly, but it really works. Ive worked with great people who couldn’t get the results they wanted at work or in their personal life because people were literally afraid of them. They weren’t angry, but they forgot to tell their face that. No matter how good you are at what you do, you will be better if you are connecting with other people.

No matter how good you are at what you do, you will be better if you are connecting with other people.


When it comes to work, look for ways to do more, not less. Look for problems to solve or needs to fill, and solve them. When an issue arises, don’t just pass it off on someone else, but take it on as your own. Show up early. Stay late. And don’t let anyone else set the pace for how you will work. You be the pace-setter that your co-workers have to keep up with. Will this approach be more tiring? Yes, sometimes it will. Will it draw negative attention from people who want to slide by doing as little as possible? Yes, sometimes it will. But will it earn you increase, raises, and promotions? Yes, eventually it always will.



Someone who works harder and faster than anyone else, but has questionable integrity is no good to any team. Always, always, always tell the truth. As a truck driver in the oil-field of West Texas, I had the opportunity to be tested in this area. I was driving a semi onto a lease with lots of fiberglass pipes laying on top of the ground all over the place. These pipes transport oil and other fluids from one place to another and if one is broken, it is very bad. As in, it costs lots of money and people lose their jobs bad. I pulled on to the work site before the sun came up and as I was leaving around lunch time to head to another site, I noticed tire tracks on one of these extremely fragile pipes. My heart sank because I knew instantly that the tracks were mine. I hadn’t seen the pipe when I pulled in, but now in the daylight, I could see that I had run over it. I got out and looked, and could see that it was damaged. No supervisors had been anywhere close to where we were working that morning, and other crews had come in and out of the area. I knew that I could drive away, not say a word, and nobody would ever know it was me that ran over it. Or, I could call in the supervisors, let them know what had happened and take responsibility for my mistake. Let me tell you, one of those options sounded a whole lot better than the other, but I knew what I had to do. I picked up the phone and called the appropriate people and let them know what had happened. Here’s where things got interesting… Knowing that I could have easily hidden the truth and not come clean, but chose to handle the situation with integrity was actually impressive to my superiors, and our customer. No one talked about punishing me, instead they started requesting that I be the driver to come to their jobs in the future. They knew that they could trust me to do the right thing. Excellence requires integrity.

Excellence 2 Hydrovac truck
My Hydrovac truck. Sweet right?





In order to be excellent in any area, we have to be willing to engage our mind and our spirit. Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” You have to engage the full capacity of your mind in whatever you are working on. It doesn’t matter If you are at work, school, having family time, or playing sports. Don’t spend your time day-dreaming about something else. Be in the moment. Focus on the task, problem, or situation at hand. Specifically when it comes to your job, if you are getting paid for your time, it doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to the person paying for it. Give them their money’s worth!

The Bible promises advantages for us as believers when it comes to work. God created you for greatness! If you are willing to put in the work, the rewards are worth the effort.

  • Lana Daniel

    You are so wise.

  • Jake Goodnight

    You are so kind!

  • Penny Messick

    Good stuff, Jake. Such good stuff!

    • Jake Goodnight

      Thanks Penny!