Do you ever feel like you’re holding back the best of yourself, waiting on that moment to happen where you feel like it’s worth the best you? Maybe it’s because you don’t value the people around you enough to feel like they deserve that extent of you. Or maybe you feel like you’ll get hurt, or that you’ll end up regretting it later.
What about the feeling like you’re being held back from your best self, because it always seems like you’re being misjudged. Maybe people feel like you’re always trying too hard, or that you’re always trying to outdo others even when there’s no real reward. So in response, you end up scaling back and treading lightly, not trying as hard and keeping yourself from standing out. You undervalue your work and you undersell yourself, just so that you don’t appear beyond people’s expectations; So that no one will use you and abuse you. You may even hide your abilities so that you won’t have to do anything more than what you already have to do or are required to do…
Colossians 3:23-24 AMP says “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 NET says, “Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, the place where you will eventually go.” Isn’t that the truth. The bible says that “… it is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this [comes certain] judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27 AMP). None of us have immortal bodies. Our minds, eyes, feet, you name it, becomes less and less sharp and more and more weak, the different members of our bodies become deteriorated little by little as we inch towards our older ages. Ecclesiastes 12:1-6 AMP says “Remember [thoughtfully] also your Creator in the days of your youth [for you are not your own, but His], before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say [of physical pleasures], “I have no enjoyment and delight in them”; before the sun and the light, and the moon and the stars are darkened [by impaired vision], and the clouds [of depression] return after the rain [of tears]; in the day when the keepers of the house (hands, arms) tremble, and the strong men (feet, knees) bow themselves, and the grinders (molar teeth) cease because they are few, and those (eyes) who look through the windows grow dim; when the doors (lips) are shut in the streets and the sound of the grinding [of the teeth] is low, and one rises at the sound of a bird and the crowing of a rooster, and all the daughters of music (voice, ears) sing softly. Furthermore, they are afraid of a high place and of dangers on the road; the almond tree (hair) blossoms [white], and the grasshopper (a little thing) is a burden, and the caperberry (desire, appetite) fails. For man goes to his eternal home and the mourners go about the streets and market places. Earnestly remember your Creator before the silver cord [of life] is broken,…”
While we are living this life, and as we grow in age and maturity; Seriously, thoughtfully and sincerely consider the Lord and “… whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV). We only have one chance to give it our best shot, to do our best work, and to be our best self. And while we speak and communicate with others, let us do so wisely. The things that we say and our communication with others either exposes our best self or our worst self. It exposes our maturity or our immaturity. It lets others know if we are FOR them or against them; or whether we are well informed or lacking information. It promotes us or cancels us out, it compliments or discredits us.
No matter what mistakes we make and how many times we have to correct it and start over, or push ourselves to shake it off and move on, our best self is what God desires of us. So don’t be afraid to delight yourself in the Lord, because whatever we delight ourselves in, or take joy, pleasure and gladness in, we will give our best selves to. And if we are our best for the Glory of the Lord, then we are our best for the benefit of the Kingdom, we are our best for the benefit of the church, we are our best for the benefit of our members (our bodies), we are our best for the benefit of our family, we are our best for the benefit of our friends, but most of all we are our best for the benefit of ourselves. Yes ourselves. Romans 14:12 ESV says that “… each of us will give an account of himself to God”. So don’t let anyone lead you astray by making you feel like you’re selfish for seeking after the benefit of salvation for yourself. We can preach and teach and share and encourage and uplift others with the Gospel of Christ, but at the end of the day we still have a responsibility to engage ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to be our best, so that we can inherit the reward of our salvation. In 2 Peter 1, Peter tells us how to make sure that we really are among those that God has called and chosen. He first tells us what we need to do within ourselves in order to be productive and useful and to fall in line with the promises of God, before we can then reveal love and affection to others. Verse 5-6 NLT says to “… Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,” Then Peter says in verse 7 to use that gain of godliness “with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”
Our best selves is a work in progress and a never ending project, but still it is something to be proud of in every level and at every stage. We will always find memories and moments that could have been better and that we could have done better, but life is not over yet. Our best selves is being perfected (matured) day by day. Reach into your heart and pull out what you have been hiding, what you have been holding back, what you have been pondering upon. It is time to step out into your best you.