We are two Sundays into our sermon series “Becoming the Best You.” (Sermons can be listened to online – just click play) Why is it important that each of us work on becoming the people God created us to be? Let me count the ways!
First of all, unless we are growing and changing into the people God created us to be, then we are likely stuck and stagnating in the status quo. The ruts in which we sometimes find ourselves can be very comfortable – and deadly! Oftentimes, fear overcomes us and we retreat into old patterns, habits and attitudes that aren’t always the best for us or others. Someone who is actively seeking God learns to live fearlessly through all the seasons of life. “Becoming the Best You” isn’t just for young people; Abraham was 75 when God’s call came to him. Growing in spiritual maturity into the “fullness of Christ” is both the obligation and the joy of every believer for a lifetime.
Secondly, God always works in us in order to be a blessing to others. God works “in” us so that God might then work “through” us. God blessed Abraham so he might be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). God’s love is always on its way somewhere else. If we want to experience the full benefit of God’s love and grace, then we must be willing to be a conduit of that love and grace to others in our lives.
There is a field of scientific and sociological research called “Systems Analysis,” which I find fascinating. It turns, what is true in software and economic systems is also true in human communities. When one part of system improves, all the other parts of the system are influenced. That doesn’t mean all the parts of the system will necessarily respond in positive ways immediately – but the ultimate result of improvement in one individual moves the whole organism closer to optimal functioning. For instance, if one member of a family that has developed dysfunctional communication
styles begins to “get healthy,” that may disrupt the family system for awhile, but ultimately leads to a more healthy and loving atmosphere for everyone.
It’s not hard to see how this idea also translates to the church. When we are all working on “getting better” and becoming more and more who God created us to be, then the whole community benefits. We are blessed to be a blessing! John Ortberg says that “Jesus’ plan was not to start a church of people who call themselves ‘Christians’ yet remain cranky, egotistical, judgmental, deceptive, greedy, lustful, gossipy, selfrighteous and religious until they die and go to heaven. Jesus’ plan is to have a church of transformed people who experience and express the joyful life of God together for the sake of others.”
God is at work in our midst – even now. God can be at work in you, too!