Everyday I wake up, my overarching goal is to become a better version of myself. I must make progress in life. I ought not be on the same level I was the previous day. Progress can be measured, and I know that with small consistent steps, in a year I should be on a whole new level. Why is this important for me? Because in order to be a relevant influence for good in the world, a person must stand head and shoulders above others. Saul was chosen to be king over Israel, and the Bible records in 1 Samuel 9:2 that he stood “head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.” Certainly this was literal in that he was taller than everyone else, but why did the Holy Spirit include that, what relevance does it hold? The Holy Spirit is revealing to us that he had greater capacity for leadership (or government) and he was more intellectually sound than the rest of the people.
I recognize that God wants me to be all that He created me to be, and He will be faithful to do His part by supplying the grace, but it is also imperative that I must do my part as well. So in becoming a better person, I do the following in increasing measure as revealed to me in Scripture:
1. Keep pressing forward
Paul gave us one of the secrets to his success in life and ministry in Philippians 3:13-14,NIV:
“13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
The past belongs nowhere else but the past. Past achievements, hurts, failures ought to remain in the past. The future is bigger and brighter, so I have my focus on what can be. This is the principle of potential. I can still be greater; rather than looking at what is right now, I am focused on what can be in the future.
2. Live by faith
Faith is a practical expression of one’s confidence in God. Everything in life has to be done with the confidence that God is with you and in support, and if this is true this means victory.
To live by faith is premised on having an attitude of a winner. This means I expect to win every time, and in every situation. So what happens when I loose? I throw a feat! I do so because I am not expecting to loose. Loosing is an anomaly. When i’m done, i’ll go back to God, I’ll go back to His word, and I will re-examine myself to see where I failed. Was it in my love walk, was it because I was out of the will of God, was it because I used the wrong strategy?
I am reminded of the story in Joshua 7:1-26 when Israel was to go besiege the town of Ai. After the reconnaissance they realized it was a small town that would be easy to defeat with a small army. However when they attacked, they were defeated badly. Then Joshua and his commanders approached God, and it was revealed that there was a defilement in their camp. Not until they dealt with the sin in their camp did they have victory. If you loose, you need to go back to God to find out what defilement is within your camp.
3. Develop better relationships
Social capital is of great value. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says “Two are better than one”. However in dealing with people, there will be rough edges that need to be smoothness. I have learned in the past couple of years that though I may be of a different temperament with another person, for as long as I walk in the commandment of love (1 Cor.13:4-8) I will be safe in developing my relationships. Rather than limit my relationships on the basis of my temperament, I will continually develop good relationships with different people so as to continually increase my social capital. With every relationship I develop, I seek to leave the person as a better person. In the same vein I have to make sure that the relationships I choose make me better.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” Proverbs 27:17,NLT
I have learned that in accomplishing a task and completing a project, resources are needed however money is just a part. If you lack money, you can leverage your social capital. Stop focusing on making more money, focus on building quality relationships also. You may say I am building relationships to use them in the future, but that is not the purpose. They will come in handy, but quality relationships only develop when the relationship is symbiotic. There must be giving and sacrifice from both ends.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly” Proverbs 18:24
4. Read more books
This year my reading goal was increased to 3 books per month. It is said that reading keeps the mind young. Henry Ford once said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
While watching the show Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister was asked by a warrior why he read so much and his response was “just like a sword needs a wet stone, the mind needs books”. A wet stone is used to sharpen swords, so reading books keeps your mind sharp (in case you needed to know the relevance).
Paul while exhorting Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:13 says “Till I come, give attention to reading”. In intend to do the same!
I think I’ll give an update on the list of books read, and the ones I will read in another blog post, so watch out for that.
5. Grow in my love walk
If there is a single measure of spiritual development, it will be in the growth of one’s love walk. Jesus clearly stated that the way men would identify His disciples was through the love walk (John 13:35). Love is the very nature of God, and to be developed in love is to be like God, for “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8, NIV.
Love has to be exercised by faith. It goes beyond a feeling, but it is a decision to do what God’s word says and act in line with the God-nature within. The diet is to meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (I prefer the MSG and Amplified translation of this), and the exercise is to do what the Scripture says when the opportunity presents itself to act otherwise. The development of my spiritual life is highly dependent on the development of my love walk.
Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus was that they be rooted and grounded in love so they will grow strong, and be filled with the full knowledge of God (Eph.3:14-20). This is my desire, and don’t you think this will make me a better me?
6. Exercise and proper diet
1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profits…”
Developing a healthy and strong body is a HUGE part of becoming a better person. As a matter of fact it is part of being a good steward. My body is not mine but the temple of God (1 Cor.16:16) so I have to make sure I keep God’s temple pure and holy first, and also strong and healthy. So i’ll be sure to eat right and hit the gym.
Fun trivia: I started going for Brazilian Jui Jitsu classes with a friend, and i’ll also be looking into taking classes in Judo. These are martial arts classes (relevant for self defense) also they are a great cardio workout 😉
So what do you all think? Will you adopt some of these to make yourself a better person? Follow me on twitter @MoyoMamora, you’ll be getting inspiration and updates there.
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