Step one: Jesus

Recently I’ve often caught myself wishing I was better in the roles I hold.  A better Sunday school teacher.  A better employee.  A better friend.  You get the idea.  Not that what I am or do right now is necessarily bad, just that I feel– no, I know that I could be better.  There’s always room to grow, and though I can never do any of my roles perfectly I don’t want to become complacent.

With each of these aspects of my life – and more – I’m reminded that they all start at the same place: drawing near to God.  Because everything in my life is an overflow or outpouring that starts with my relationship with God.

To become a better teacher, I need to know God better to understand what I’m teaching.  To become a better employee, I need to know that everything I do is an act of worship to my Creator.  To become a better friend, I need to know selflessness and patience that I can only learn by letting God become bigger while I become smaller.

Through all of these and more, I need to understand more about God’s love for me and for people.  ALL people.  My kiddos.  My coworkers and customers.  My friends.  Only by discovering how much value they have in his eyes can I start to see them and love them they way that he does.

There are of course other steps after step one – like making time to study the lesson plan, working to eliminate distractions at work, and deliberately making plans to connect with people I care about.

But whenever I feel overwhelmed and hopeless I go back to step one.  Prayer, time in the Bible, worship.  Step one is always the biggest and most difficult and most crucial – as well as the easiest to forget.  But afterwards steps two, three, and beyond seem much more achievable.

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