The Best Version of Ourselves
by Brenna Fields Taylor
Earlier today, I was honored to participate in the virtual Celebration of Life for one of my high school classmates who recently passed away. Beautiful words of remembrance were spoken about him, and encouraging words were shared with the family and all in attendance who grieve his passing. As the celebration ended, his oldest daughter spoke on behalf of the family to thank her father’s classmates for planning such a moving celebration. She recalled that her father had instilled in his children to be the best versions of themselves, and as she ended, she encouraged everyone on the video conference to be the best version of themselves. What a powerful word from this wise young woman!
The service ended and we all said our goodbyes. As my day progressed, I continued doing the things that were on my agenda for this Saturday. And yet, the challenge that this young woman shared continued to resonate in my mind. I began to ask myself, “Am I currently being the best version of myself?” If I were to answer that honestly, I would have to reply, “yes in some area, but no in other areas.” I could do better with using my time more wisely, I could do better in eating healthy foods (I knew I shouldn’t have bought those Chips Ahoy cookies from Publix…they were buy one, get one free!) Honest reflection shows me that I have some work to do so that I can be the absolute best version of myself.
I believe that in order for us to be the best versions of ourselves, our focus needs to be on what God would have us to achieve. God has spoken very clearly to me about some things, while for other things, I’m awaiting answers and confirmation. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) tells us that “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God has already ordained the good works that he wants us to accomplish. Are we walking in them? As Paul is writing to the Philippian church, he shares this with them: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT) So, we do not need to fear as we step out in performing the good works that God has planned for us, because He will ensure that they are finished…they will be completed!
God may have already revealed what those works are for us, but the task seems insurmountable. We can’t envision how God is going to do this through us, and some days we may even wonder if we heard God right when He gave us that vision (let me be transparent…I have sometimes wondered if I heard God right). But scripture reminds us that He has given us these good works and that he will help us perform them. Because of this, we can step out in faith into our callings and be the best versions of ourselves.
I encourage you to take some time TODAY (as soon as you’re done reading this post) and ask yourself these questions:
- Am I walking in what God has called me to do?
- Am I living the best version of myself?
If you answered “no,” it’s ok. Today is the day (not tomorrow) and now is the time to begin changing the answers to those questions from “no” to “yes.” Spend time with God seeking His will for your life, and when He speaks and tells you to act, don’t hesitate…just act! Trust and believe by faith that He will help you perform the things He has placed inside of you to accomplish in the earth. Someone needs what you have to offer…don’t deprive them of the gifts that God has placed in you for their edification and for His glory.
Tomorrow is not promised…NOW is the time to be the very best version of ourselves.