Best-Version-of-Yourself-A A +A
Saturday, October 26, 2013
THESE words in the bible have always baffled me in the past. “Be holy, because I am holy.” It is also written, “Be perfect therefore, as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
These words seem to be asking the impossible. I know how imperfect and sinful man is. But, why will God ask us to be holy and perfect unless He knows we are capable of being holy and perfect? Unless, He has planted deep within our hearts the seeds of perfection and holiness? Unless, this is really what He has intended for us to become?
Matthew Kelly in his book “The Rhythm of Life” writes that man’s essential purpose is to become the “Best-version-of-ourselves.” A tall order? Yes perhaps, but not impossible! Initially though, I thought that this is such a selfish purpose. For many years now, I have been trying (not always successfully) to live by my life’s main purpose of giving glory to God in everything I think, say and do. I have tried to follow what I learned from Rick Warren’s book, the Purpose Driven Life. God’s 5 purposes for me in my life are worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. My husband Mike has written and talked about this in many of his articles and seminars.
But, upon reading Kelly’s book, I realized how true it is that if we follow the simple formula of striving to become the “Best-version-of-ourselves” in everything we do, we will give glory to God and eventually (even if it takes a lifetime) achieve holiness and perfection as God has commanded us to.
The question is how do we attain perfection and holiness, and become the Best-version-of ourselves? Matthew Kelly attempts to explain this in detail and he succeeds beautifully. I truly recommend reading his book. (I am still in part 3 of his 7-part book.)
What is apparently the simplest way of doing this is to ask ourselves every time we are about to say or do something, “Will saying or doing this help me become the “Best-version-of-myself?” In other words, we need to be constantly aware of our life’s essential purpose.
Life is a choice. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we close them at night, we probably make thousands of choices. All these choices directly or indirectly lead to creating the best-version-of-ourselves.
Do you know how the “Best-version-of-yourself” looks like?
Kelly suggests getting to know ourselves better by asking three things. 1.) what our legitimate needs are, 2.) our deepest desires and 3.) the core gift/talent God has gifted us with. He asks us to consider the 4 fundamental aspects of man (physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual), in answering our legitimate needs and desires. When our life’s choices are in complete harmony (meaning they intersect and consider our legitimate needs, deepest desires and God-given talents), the outcome is the-best-version-of-ourselves.
Here is Kelly’s diagram.
“The glory of God is the perfection of the creature.” - Athanasius
My Dearest Children,
Envision a world where each person is striving to become the best version of him/herself! That I believe is the closest to heaven we can see! But, we do not have to imagine that big.
Let’s picture our home on a typical day. You wake up early to the sound of the alarm clock. Do you choose to hit the snooze button and go right back to sleep? Or do you stand up and do what you have planned to do, spend some time in solitude and prayer followed by your daily exercise? But it’s sooooo cold and the bed is so warm and inviting! Then, you remember your legitimate needs of good health (physical) and the promise of a fruitful day (as initiated by fulfilling a spiritual thirst).
As the day progresses, you pass thru more crossroads, letting you choose not only between what is good and bad, but oftentimes, between 2 or more good things. Will you surf the internet for that recipe you have been wanting to try? Or will you spend the extra gift of leisure time on reading that highly recommended book given by a friend? (both fulfilling your intellectual need). But, deep within you, cries the urgent prompting to talk to your sibling with whom you had a misunderstanding. (emotional need to be loved and accepted). What will you do? Prioritizing is definitely important!
Life can sometimes be even more complicated than this simple illustration. But, what I wish to point out here is that, when you make your choices based on what will produce the best-version-of-yourselves, you will be happier and more fulfilled.
And when you discover the special talent/core gift (what you and only you can accomplish in your lifetime; examples are improving the bakery line of Matley and Frenchline, managing McDonald’s or Sunshine or Veniz or another business of your choice, producing outstanding radio ads, being the best children to your parents, the best spouse, the best friend, and more) that God has gifted you with; focus on it, passionately live it, and harmonize it with your legitimate needs and deepest desires; the inevitable outcome is a happy and perfect, whole, and holy YOU. What a beautiful life! What a beautiful family. What a beautiful world!
I believe that God has wired us in such a way that the special talent/s He has gifted us with will create such a deep impact or maybe a longing that unless it is used up to its fullest, will create a void within us. And when we discover what we were born to be and to do, it will stir a passionate response, springing from our deepest desires. Let us then pray for wisdom and enlightenment.
My dearest children, you and I all know we are far from being a perfect family. After all, your Dad and I aren’t perfect. And yes, neither are any of you. We all make mistakes.
But, what excitingly good tidings I bring to you today! Your Dad and I can work on our perfection and holiness, just like each one of you can work on yours! We can all work towards having a perfect and holy family, just as God has called us to become. By God’s grace, we can all become the “Best-version-of-ourselves”! Shall we?
Choose the “Best-version-of-yourselves” in each moment! Choose happiness!
“There is no better way to honor life and God than to strive to become the “Best-version-of-ourselves!” -Matthew Kelly
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 26, 2013.