I learned very early on in life to do the best I could. My parents modelled that, and expected it. As I grew older, I figured out that God wanted my best too. Sometimes when you are working for people—teachers or bosses—you can wonder why you try so hard. Sometimes you feel like no one notices, or cares, or appreciates what you're doing, so you wonder why you bother. Colossians 3:23-24 has the answer to that. It says to work as though God is your boss. People may not always notice or appreciate your efforts, but God does, and it is honouring to Him when you give things your best. That's reason enough for me.
It's true that I don't always think that my best is good enough. I tend to be a bit of an idealist, and frankly I usually want things to be better than I can make them. But, over the years, I've become aware of my strengths and my weaknesses, and also learned how to accept that things will never be perfect on this side of heaven, even if I wish they could be. It helps to know I've done my best; I've made things as good as it is in my power to do.
There are many things that are not within my power, but working on my own character is. And like I said, I always want to be better. So when I come across advice on how to improve myself or anything else, I usually read (or listen to) it. Of course you can't count on all the advice you read to be helpful, but with experience comes discernment. This article by Carey Nieuwhof, written to people in their 20s, 30s and 40s from someone who is just turning 50, lists 25 pieces of advice to help you get to your best self sooner. When I read it, I thought it was excellent advice and worth sharing with you. So, follow this link and check it out.
Over the next several months, I will share a series of verses about building character.