“Our problem following Jesus is we’re trying to be a better version of us, rather than a more accurate reflection of him.” This quote by Bob Goff has been a little unsettling for me. I admit that the work I do on myself is often to be a better me not a more selfless me.
I work on depression and anxiety to feel better to be a better wife and mother. I work on my health to look good and age well. I read endlessly on these topics to learn the latest research to get the best results. I even work on my relationship with God through reading, prayer and worship, but I haven’t looked at it as being more Christlike.
34-36 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” 37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” (Matthew 22:34-40 MSG).
I don’t think any of the above endeavors are bad or wrong. What is wrong is the focus. Working on my health does make me feel better, but it also allows me to love others more fully. It has increased my generosity. The selfless example of Christ and becoming more like him as not been my motivation. That is where I have gone wrong.
My striving to be a better person needs to be rooted in Christ. The goal shouldn’t be for me to look and feel better, but to love more fully. We are called to love others as Christ loves us. This quote reminded me where my motivation should come from, and reminded me that love is a selfless expression of Christ. I need to check my motives more regularly. It’s far too easy for them to become inwardly focused on me.
How are your motivations? Are they selfless? Are they focused on being Christlike? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.