Why I Will Never Be a Better Version of Myself
“Just be yourself! Meditate on the qualities you want to be and the more you meditate on those qualities, then you will become that better version of yourself.” Does this mindset sound familiar? Perhaps you have even said or thought something similar to this statement? This mindset is a prevailing theme in our culture today. We have meditations, books, journals, signs, business slogans, t-shirts, fast food wrappers, and more all geared toward you becoming a better version of yourself.
Let me tell you why I never want to be a better version of myself. No matter how close you are to someone, you will likely find some area(s) where you and that person do not agree. Many times we say we will agree to disagree, and then move on with life. What’s good for them is fine for them. And what’s good for me is fine for me.
This mindset is flawed when we look at the Word of God. For example, when we give in to the mindset that you can create your own version of truth and what works for you as your manifestation of good, what you come up with for yourself, and what your best friend comes up with as what works for her, both results are flawed based on the other person’s view of that philosophy. (Whew!) Neither belief system is based on anything other than what that individual believes to be true about himself or herself. And, what is true about any individual person varies on that person’s idea of what is actually true. A lot of people though will agree that there is evil in the world and that evil a problem for all people. We are all affected in some way by evil. Evil thoughts, actions, circumstances, and so on. We also agree that there is some form of good in the world. Many people refer to these good things as “blessings”. Where many people fail in their thinking is that these “blessings” in their lives are generally a direct result of nothing that person did, but a direct result of what someone else did for them.
The Bible gives us the answers to what is lacking in this “you create you” mindset. For us to accept God as God, we must therefore believe that what he says is true. God says he is truth. He is light. In him is no darkness or evil. He is the way. The way to know truth. To know yourself. And to know him. Therefore, the Bible, as his word is true and can thereby be believed as the inerrant, infallible truth. (John 14:6; I John 1:5; II Peter 1:16-21)
God’s word also declares God as good, kind, gracious, and loving. The Bible also declares God to be just, righteous, holy. What we strive to be God is in all perfection. He is perfectly good, kind, gracious, and loving. And he is also perfectly just, righteous, and holy. God also declares all people to be sinners- evil, with hearts full of dirty rags, with mouths that breathe out evil (adulteries, lies, and so on); he declares us to be putrid in his holy sight. Yikes. All of us are considered this before him! (See Matthew 15:18-19; Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10; Isaiah 64:6, Psalm 53:3; Psalm 143:2) No amount of what we consider good can ever match up to his righteous, holy standard.
I discussed in my last post that idea of grace. When God has granted us grace, we are so thankful because he has given us favor when we did not deserve it. He granted us grace and mercy in sending Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin and provide us with a way to know him, to be accepted as righteous before him. This recognition that God has granted us certain “blessings” is to declare that those things came about not necessarily by any work on your part, but because God was gracious in allowing that to happen in your life. Therefore, for you to take that grace and claim that what you have created to be a better version of you, is to deny that fact that God is the one who has wrought the change, not you.
Let me explain personally here. For me to create a better version of myself (as in I wanted to be thin, “healthy”, “fit” and thereby be more accepted by others for my looks), I did everything I could to achieve that goal. Being fit is good, right? Being healthy is good also, right? I was creating this version of truth that I thought would work for me. And, my thinking was logical, right?
My version of truth was based on what I could do. And, what I think I can do I cannot do apart from the grace of God. God created me and gave me this body; therefore, I must use it as the gift it is from the hand of the one who created it. God gave me relationships; therefore, I need to treat those relationships with love that is not selfish or looking for ways to meet my agenda. God gave me his word; therefore, I cannot use it to please my version of truth because that is a distortion of the essence of truth. And a distortion of truth is a lie. I was living a lie because I was creating a version of myself based on a flawed distortion of what is actually true.
Because what is true is that I am God’s child. And, as his child, I am called not to be thin, but to be kind. I am not called to be healthy, but to be holy. I am not called to be right, but to be righteous. Now, certainly, there is a balance in all this. As treating our bodies as holy gifts from God, we are not to abuse our bodies by being unhealthy either. (Read my book for more on this!) The point here is creating a better version of me did not work. It will never work. Because my sinful flesh distorts what is true and creates a version based on sinful desires, not based on the Word of God. It creates a lie. A hypocrite. And, that was me.
But, praise God! I am no longer bound to think of myself or be striving to make myself better! No. I have been called by God as his own. I am called to greater, higher, nobler things than my rebel heart could have ever imagined! I am called to be like God himself. That perfection which is beyond our comprehension, he has called me (and all who call him Father and Lord) to be as his child.
So, no, I will not be creating a better version of myself. Ever. I will be, by the grace of God, what he has called me to be and what he will equip me to be. He has given me his word, and by that truth I will govern my life. I will not be giving in to the lies Satan uses to deceive me in thinking that I deserve to be happy. Or that I deserve to be whatever I want to be. Or that I can live however I please.
I am redeemed; called by God. I am saved by grace through faith in him. Therefore, I will live to get rid of sinful desires, sinful mindsets, and sinful attitudes. I will replace those things with truth. And, I will live in continued grace because by God’s grace I will become more like him. Not a better version of sinful, wretched me. But a version of HIM!
This means I will confess sin (even though I am saved, the sinful desires still wage war within me: see Romans 7:18-20 for Paul’s writing on this!). I will fill my mind with the truth of God’s word and not what others tell me I should do. I will pray. I will communicate with God. I will seek advice from those who know the truth of God’s word. I will desire to get rid of anything which compromises the character of God and will gradually, continually persevere to become more like Jesus.
How about you? Will you join me in this journey, too? Don’t content yourself with being a better version of sin. It won’t work. Be a version of God. Be an ambassador for what is truly TRUE! Strive for what is really and truly perfect excellence (the attributes of God!), and in your weak , sinful moments, ask for forgiveness, revel in God’s grace, and make every effort to become like him. You will never regret it!
Additional song for meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05jKxv8ApuI