Cynthia Heald has once again captured my attention with her book, "Becoming A Woman of Excellence". Through this study of Boaz's wife, Ruth, Cynthia's prayer is that we will be quietly and perfectly prepared to fit into Christ's Kingdom. In Ruth 3:11, Boaz refers to the young widow living in a foreign land as a "worthy woman" ESV or as a "woman of excellence" NASB. Ruth's trek to Naomi's homeland, which resulted in gleaning the leftovers in the grain fields, doesn't bring pretty pictures of excellence, but Cynthia leads us to an understanding of the Biblical view of excellence.
The Greek word for excellence--diaphero--means transport or differ while the Hebrew word for "excel" is alah--to ascend. So...in the Biblical sense, excel means to ascend, transport or carry above the norm. Even Webster concurs; excellence is defined as" the possession chiefly of good qualities in an unusual degree; surpassing virtue, merit, worth, value."
Check out some of the Biblical passages that Cynthia uses to amplify her point:
For specifics in God's Word regarding pursuit of the highest and the best read:
I Corinthians 10:31
Philippians 1:9-10; 4:8
2 Timothy 2:15
My favorite kernel from Chapter One is that "excellence is not perfection, but essentially a desire to be strong in the Lord and for the Lord." Ahhh, such freedom for a first born daughter like me!
Finally, Cynthia exhorts us to hide God's Word in our hearts--her recommendation: Philippians 1:9-10:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
Be blessed by your reading of "Becoming A Woman of Excellence", Cynthia is looking into my window...and maybe yours, too.