Becoming a Better Version of Yourself
We’ve all seen the latest must-haves that promise to make us better versions of ourselves – the chic designer brands, futuristic gadgets, makeup products that promise to make our skin flawless and our selfies pop.
“Pick me, buy me, and use me.” whispers the clever marketing strategies behind the big brands we love so much. “Pick me, buy me, and use me.” shouts the endless tv promotions and big billboard advertisements with loud messages to entice and lure us into thinking, “If I can just get my hands on that item or if I can be seen with that thing I’ll have made it!”
“Pick me, buy me, use me… do anything to get me and you’ll be better. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind!” All the hype, tips, and tricks for things on the surface yet not as much focus on the inner substance that truly adds value to making us better versions of ourselves from the inside out. We allow ourselves to be defined by the things we wear, the brands we associate ourselves with and by the things we have.
As people, we seem to think if we work hard on the outside, fix our outer appearance, and the way we carry ourselves then naturally our inner selves would come into focus to fit the carefully constructed outer image we’ve spent so much time investing in.
We think that outer appearance is the part that requires the real work while the inner would just simply take care of itself. We look to the customs, expectations and norms of the world to tell us how to be better but Jesus isn’t fooled or preoccupied with the outer self like the rest of the world.
We know the perceived version of success the world preaches, saying if you can get that big portfolio job, work for the fancy house, buy the shiny cars and live the glamorous lifestyle, you’ll find joy they say. We see it everywhere, on social media, magazines and on our screens through reality tv. God’s Word on the flip side contains a different stance to success and joy, one which says the source of joy is from the Lord and that we should remember the Lord our God. He alone is the One who gives us the power to be successful.
It’s not to say that we cannot enjoy the blessings God gives us in the form of worldly riches or strive to be better people. God put us on the earth to work and see the fruits of our labor. We were not designed to be lazy beings, but to reap a reward. The question is in where do we find our definition of “better”: Is it in me becoming better through material things or becoming better through Christ?
It is when we can give thanks to God and enjoy His abundance without exalting our possessions above Christ, that we put Christ is in His rightful place in our lives, which is above everything else.
I recently read a quote the other day that went a little like this, “We exist in a world where we have become so used to the end result of people winning materialistically, we have no idea that winning spiritually precedes it.”
The truth and profoundness in this simple statement forces you to stop, stare and reflect. It makes one realize that their “better version” won’t be found in their next purchase. John the Baptist in John 3:30 places Christ above all else by saying, “He must become greater, I must become less.”
How many times in our lives have we been in a position when things are going well and we conveniently forget about God yet the moment things turn dark we want to run straight to Him to fix the mess? It’s the old lesson of remembering not to focus too much on the blessings more than the provider of the blessings. The path to “better me” means living in a better way, investing in the spirit which is of greater value than the external. The path to “better me” in practice is by being a better friend, sister, partner, example and making better decisions focused not only on accumulating more but actually being more in life. Recognizing that first and foremost, the best decision you’ll make in building “better me” is exalting Christ then, making decisions aligned to a lifestyle which is representative of the above the surface and better life God has in store for you.
Staff Writer at Christian En Vogue
Joy Sibanyoni is a self-proclaimed Jesus girl from South Africa. Daughter of the only true King, she lives for spreading the message of God's grace and love. She's a university graduate and leader of Project Any Girl focused on sharing and celebrating real inspirational life stories. A few of her favorite things are reading, traveling, good food and taking long naps on any day!
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