In other words, you and I have all necessary potential to be the best version of ourselves.
If you claim that God represents perfection, fulfillment and abundant life, then, your life, here on earth, is a glimpse of all that.
Why am I saying that?
Well, in case you did not know, you and I were created in God’s image. That is what we read in Genesis 1: 27.
“Why is it that I don’t feel my best in life, in my marriage, at work, in school or in any area of my life?”
Here are 3 steps that can help you be your best in your everyday living.
Step #1: Identify the 3 Key Relationships
A good and healthy relationship is characterized by 4 things that I discussed in one of my previous blog posts, How To Establish And Maintain Healthy Relationships. The traits of a good relationship apply to all the 3 key relationships I am going to describe next.
First is Relationship with God. Do you believe in God? This is an important question you need to answer in your life.
The idea about believing in God is what will shape you into someone nothing or no one can easily alter. The point is not just to claim that you believe, but to intentionally practice a discipline that helps you grow in your relationship with God.
Second is Relationship with Self. This may sound confusing. But, what it only has to do with how you relate to your your body, mind and soul. Where I am coming from, with this second type of key relationship, is based on what Paul wrote saying: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”
As believers, someday, God would ask you and I of an account of how we will have used what He has given us: body, mind and soul.
Third is Relationship with Other People. The last key relationship you have to identity is that with other people. As, you have seen this takes the third place in terms of priorities.
Faith (beliefs) should always come first in order to shape your everyday living. Out of your faith, you will be able to define values that will help you care for yourself and best relate to other people.
When it comes to this third relationship, how you relate to the others is closely dependent on the previous two key relationships. God (faith) helps you script the way you care for your body, mind and soul. Part of caring for yourself is that you also care for people who are dear to you.
Your relationship with family is followed by that, which you establish with other people at school, work, community, church and other places.
Step #2: Define your Roles in These Key Relationships
Now that you have identified the 3 key relationships in life, you have to define the roles you play in every single one of them.
Below are examples of roles for each key relationship with brief descriptions. You can adjust them to fit your own personal context.
A) Relationship with God
- I am a Christian and therefore have to live with integrity, loving mercy and justice for all.
- I am a member of the Harris United Methodist Church and therefore will fulfill all my 5 membership vows: presence, gift, prayer, witness and service.
- I am a Christian leader. My role is to inspire others so that they can influence people around them.
B) Relationship with Self
- I have a body and therefore have to exercise in order to keep it healthy.
- I have a mind and my role is to feed it through reading and learning from others.
- I have a soul and thus have to feed it with spiritual food through a consistent practice of spiritual disciplines: prayer, study of God’s word and Christian fellowship.
C) Relationship with Others
- I am a husband. I will always be there for my wife to love, care and support her.
- I am a father. My role is to care, love and support my children
- I am a neighbor. I will watch over, pray and be there for all my neighbors whenever they need me.
Step #3: Daily Remind Yourself of These Roles
The only way to remind yourself of the roles, as described above is to plan your life. You can do this by intentionally setting goals for each day.
The goals you set are to help you better play your roles in each single key relationship you have.
I know that you’re probably saying: “With my current schedule, where can I find the time to do it?”
One thing you need to know is that we cannot stop time. Nor do we have control over it. But, the thing every human being can do is that we can control what we do with our time.
What this means is you can decide how to use your time for the things you want to do in the 24 hours you’re given every day.
With this in mind, then, you can decide when to go to bed and when to wake up.
Let’s say you always wake every day up at around 6AM. What if you could change it to 5:30AM meaning that you go to bed 30 minutes sooner than usual? You will still get the number of hours of sleep. But, you will end up with 30 minutes extra, which you could use to set goals for the roles you have to play during the day.
What I have shared is based on what I have been practicing. But, I would like to learn from you too. 1) How do you plan your day? 2) How do you prioritize your life? Please, share in the comment box below.
This post was based on the sermon “Who’s My Neighbor?” I delivered at the United Methodist Church in Harris and Lake Park, Iowa, on June 26, 2016.