The story of Daniel is old and fascinating as it reveals the possibilities of godliness thriving in the midst of ungodliness. The Bible records their uncommon loyalty to God even in the land of their captors. Based on the overwhelming influence of the spirit of God in their lives, Daniel and his three friends, like Joseph had this “excellent spirit” that stood them out and cause them to thrive even in strange lands. Men of uncommon purpose and prayer that have been seasoned in God’s presence to live uprightly and pursue holiness in all their ways. Men sold out to God and dedicated to their responsibilities. Discerning men of great perception and power!

There are many traits that mark an excellent spirit in man. Heading the list is a factor that should need no emphasis; yet it does. It is hard work. The true spirit of a man is often revealed by his attitude towards work. Work offers a revealing display of character. The way you relate with people and how well you comport yourself tells a great deal about your kind of person and your general value system. Work is a demanding arena of pressure that reflects our personalities and test our efficiencies. An excellent spirit does not just consist wholly in gentleness, patience, meekness, and kindliness. These graces are essential; but there is also courage, energy, and perseverance. Men of stamina are wanted, men who will not wait to have their way smoothed and every obstacle removed, men who will inspire with fresh zeal the nagging efforts of dispirited workers and radiate wholesome integrity and uncommon dedication. Leonardo da Vinci observed, “God gave us everything at the price of effort.” He who works hard will never be without work and he who appreciates hard work will always be appreciated. Everyone want to have such men on their team because the excellent spirit is a cooperative spirit. Kings sought them and princes court them because they are men who will not slack in whatever is committed to them. They are men who understand that “you may not reap where you sow but you will definitely reap what you have sown” and so do not fail to put in their very best whether they are appreciated or not.

There is however the need to be mindful of “workaholism” in our pursuit of excellence. An “excellent” man must take rest seriously. Thinking, planning, praying and especially seeking God’s will concerning our endeavours must also not take the backseat while work goes full throttle. We must be able to strike a balance between the needful and effectively build downtime to accommodate other important activities into our schedules. We must never forget that “getting there” is not what brings fulfillment, “enjoying the process” is the key to fulfillment and lasting peace!

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone,
Dare to have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known,
Integrity and rare diligence…
Dare to be excellent!