‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
Throughout Scripture, we are commanded to do everything with excellence, not doing anything half-heartedly. Why? Because when God creates, He does it with excellence, and as His image-bearers to the world, we should seek to imitate Him in every way possible. In the words of the British novelist, Dorothy Sayers, “No crooked table legs or ill-fitting drawers ever, I dare swear, came out of the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth. Nor, if they did, could anyone believe that they were made by the same hand that made Heaven and earth. No piety in the worker will compensate for work that is not true to itself; for any work that is untrue to its own technique is a living lie.”
Few businesses demonstrate a commitment to excellence as well as Chick-fil-A. From their incredibly consistent food, to their top-notch customer service, Chick-fil-A clearly operates with a higher commitment to excellence than most businesses today. This stems largely from the faith of the company’s founder, Truett Cathy, and that of subsequent generations of the company’s leadership.
In a culture that tells businesses to prioritize growth over quality, Chick-fil-A consistently swims upstream, striving first for excellence in everything they do. For example, in 2014, the company rolled out an excellent new line of grilled chicken products. But unlike other fast-food chains that seemingly introduce new products every other week, Chick-fil-A invested seven years into testing more than twelve hundred recipes to ensure the products were “remarkable.”
Chick-fil-A does nothing quickly. But they do almost everything with excellence. This commitment to quality is baked into everything they do, including the company’s name. As Truett Cathy explained in his autobiography, Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, the capitalization of the letter “A” in Chick-fil-A’s name stands “for top quality.” Today, on the walls of many Chick-fil-As, you will read the words of the company’s now-deceased founder: “Food is essential to life. Therefore, make it good.”
As Christians, we should have the highest standards of excellence in our chosen work. Why? Because Jesus has commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We expect nothing short of excellence from those we do business with, purchase services from, or buy chicken sandwiches. If we expect others to work with excellence, we should always be raising the bar for excellence in our own work, viewing our work as a primary means through which we love our neighbors and serve the world.