I want to be better.
How can I be better?
A question I receive a lot as a minister. We have all made mistakes in life that have not put us in the best light. Some of us were bullies in high school, others of us were the one being bullied so we resorted to illegal means to ease the pain. Some are addicts others are abusive. Some cheat while others lie. The common denominator in all these - the guilt that follows.
Unfortunately, many feel defined by their mistakes and driven by their guilt. They want to do better....to be better. But how? I am an average guy who is trying to be better in all areas of my life.
I want to be a better husband. I want to forgive my wife faster and treat her like she is the the most important person in my life. I want my eyes to be locked solely on her and I want to keep surprising her with romantic gestures.
I want to be a better minister. I want to have a deep rooted care for others and I want serving others to be second nature. I want to stay long enough in a community to make meaningful relationships and I want to be bold and courageous in my faith.
I want to be a better person. I want to be generous with my time and patient with others. I want to spend more time outside and less time watching Netflix. I want to find the courage to go skydiving and lose the desire to please everyone.
We all want to be better! Gratefully, there is a cure. Normally, this is where I would point people to Jesus, but I want to do something different this time. I believe being better starts with you. You have to first believe that you can be better. We will never find a new path to walk on if we don't ever believe that path exists. You can be better. You are better.
Here is an exercise that I learned recently. It comes from the "love passage" found in 1 Corinthians 13 (it's where Paul is talking about the attributes of love). Open the passage and write it out on paper, BUT everywhere you find the word "love," replace it with your name. Here is an example:
Payton is patient, Payton is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. Payton does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Payton never fails.
Spend every morning writing these truths down for 30 days. Engrain these truths in your head. Discover the new path that you want to walk one. You can be better. You are better.
It's time you start believeing it.