God Wants Us to Improve Ourselves

I’m convinced that God wants us to improve ourselves. He has set our lives in this beautiful/ugly world, where we may acquire knowledge and skill of many kinds, and where we have daily opportunities to invest ourselves in good and in evil. I do not think he has put us here to squander our time, but to make something from it all, as good stewards of self.

Sadly, though, many will feel compelled at this point to step up and warn us all about the grave spiritual danger of “relying on our own strength”, or the insane foolishness of “focusing on self-improvement rather than on God”. We have been well-trained as watchdogs of this sort by our churches, who have not (generally) trained us well in being concerned about the state of our own characters and at acquiring knowledge and wisdom as a lifestyle.

I’m pretty sure that for many, the watchdog mentality is not a warning against serious dangers as much as it is a fine-sounding excuse for not having to participate in the learning that God wants us to do here. I’m 57 years old, and still have a great many valuable things to learn—not only in general knowledge and skill, but in virtue and character. I’ll not get to it all before I die. But I’ll certainly be able to say that I embraced the role of learner while I was here. And that, I think, pleases God.

How he must love to see us trying to take in all that he has made available to us!

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