Being the best you can be in Christ
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February 8, 2024

By Renee Schuller
Care Ministry Specialist

During this time of year, there are articles everywhere encouraging you to set goals. These articles often list all the things you should stop or start doing in the coming year to be a better you. The tone usually insinuates that who you are now is not good enough and that you need to work to make a better you. This can cause us to be overly self-critical. We must not let this tempt us to despair. Always remember that no matter how you see yourself or think others see you, God loves you and cares for you.

God cares for our bodies, and He wants us to care for them too. The Apostle Paul encourages us to take care of our bodies.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV).

The positive side to these articles is that they can cause us to realize that maybe there are behaviors that we could amend, adopt, or do away with that would help us be better stewards of our bodies and minds.

When we make poor choices, we acknowledge that sin is lurking, and we are not treating our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. When we are troubled by this, we need to take it to the Lord in prayer, repenting, and receiving God’s mercy and grace that take us out of the mire, cleanses us, and strengthens us in faith. The Holy Spirit produces in us His fruits (patience, self-control, etc. Galatians 5:22-23 ESV). Through these fruits, we are empowered to make God-pleasing choices.

The self-help articles often give good practical advice on how to better take care of ourselves and how to make positive changes. However, this advice often encourages us to rely on ourselves. We are told to dig deep into ourselves to find the strength and willpower to accomplish our goals. As Christians, we rely on God for all things. We dig deep into His Word where we find an eternal well of Living Water that nourishes and strengthens us to make choices that honor God in our bodies. However, we still live as both saint and sinner. Thus, we will likely fail a time or two, and each time we can turn to the Lord in prayer, and He will forgive us.

No matter how hard it gets or how often we have to start over, we can persevere, not of our own willpower, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ultimately, we know that our goal is not to live our so-called “best life,” always seeking some ideal that is not truly achievable. We have been made perfect in Christ who has redeemed us by His blood.

In Christ, our ultimate goal has already been accomplished for us. Thus, by faith, we go forth on our journey on earth with all of its ups and downs in joy and hope knowing it will end in eternal life, and on the last day, we will rise in fully restored bodies.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)