BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
No destiny is inferior to the other. Every destiny is colourfully made by God and realizable. Becoming the best you can in life is not about doing better than someone else in life or surpassing others. It’s not about competition or rivalry. It’s about doing all you can to become all that God wants you to be. It’s about fulfilling your destiny. It’s about actualizing your potential.
There is a difference between potential and reality. Not many with great potential to be the best in life actually become. Many people are only engaging in unnecessary competition with others instead of doing what they need to do to be the best God wants them to be.
In 1 Sam 16:16-18, the Bible records some qualities found in David when Saul’s men were looking throughout the country for just one man who could play harp well to soothe Saul whenever the distressing spirit from God came upon him. “‘Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.’ So Saul said to his servants, ‘Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.’ Then one of the servants answered and said, ‘Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him’” (1 Sam 16:16-18 NKJV).
Take note that the best man for the job they found after a national search for the right candidate for the job was David. He is described as a skillful player on the harp. Acquiring skills takes time, effort, discipline, etc. David submitted himself to all this and he became the best they could find at that time. He wasn’t competing with anyone but he just happened to be the best they could find. But David was not just a skillful player, he had other amazing qualities they were not even looking for– he was a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD was with him. That’s wonderful! David didn’t achieve all this overnight. He must have cultivated himself to be the best he could. He didn’t just play harp for Saul; he helped Saul to kill Goliath and he ended becoming the King of Israel. He was a man after God’s heart.
To be the best you can in life, there are some necessary building blocks I want to share with you. I pray that as you follow and build up your life with these blocks, you will enjoy in life a journey to God’s destination for you; you’ll be the best you can under God.
1. Make God number one in your life. Acknowledge God’s supremacy and give your life to Jesus (John 3:3). Matt 6:33 says you should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things like what to eat, wear, etc. shall be added to you. Put God first in your life. There can’t be fulfillment in life outside of God. Those who live without acknowledging God and submitting their lives to His authority are only on a wild goose chase in life. There is always a sense of failure they have even as they supposedly achieve the best in life. Therefore, obey His words; imbibe His values. Solomon said the conclusion of the matter is to fear God and keep His commandments for this is man’s all (Eccl 12:13). According to Deut 10:13, the LORD’s commands and laws are for your own good. His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).
2. Have the right teacher, coach or mentor. That means you need the right instructor and role model in life. Teachers and role models wield much influence on their students and admirers. The student shares the teacher’s fate (Matt 10:25). All other things being equal, a bad teacher will produce a bad student. You can’t be learning from a bad teacher or have a wrong role model and hope to excel in life. You become what you behold. 2 Cor 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (NKJV).
Make sure you don’t learn from bad teachers and don’t make wrong people your role models. You’ll become like them and probably even worse than they are! Be careful who you learn from, and the example you copy. Many destinies have been frustrated because of the error they made in this area, and they’re regretting today.
To be the best you can in life, you must learn from the right people and follow the right role model. Don’t be deceived by the stardom of some celebrities and begin to imitate their dressing, appearance, manner of speech or even their career path – they have plenty of regrets in their lives that you’re not aware of; many of them are in private living a miserable life. What you’re attracted to in public is just a façade, a smokescreen. It is cosmetic, and therefore not worth it. Don’t learn from them or be influenced by whatever you see in them that’s not in Christ. Paul said in 1 Cor 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (NKJV).
3. Be teachable. You can have the best teacher, the best instructor or the best role model but if you have a wrong attitude towards learning, you won’t become the best you can. Talent is not enough, brilliance is not enough – you must cultivate the right attitude towards learning. No matter how talented or skillful a footballer is, he still needs a coach! He can never be the best in his career unless he submits to the coach.
A student needs to cultivate right attitude such as listening well, observing well, writing at the right time, obeying instructions and participating actively as he’s being taught. You can’t be playful in class or before your instructor or teacher and be the best you can. An inattentive or lazy student, a truant, etc. can’t excel in academics; the same attitude won’t equally allow him excel in life.
Prov 9:9 says, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (NKJV). Don’t hate instruction; don’t despise reproof; obey the voice of your teacher; incline your ears to your instructor (Prov 5:12- 13).
4. Discipline yourself. Without discipline, you can’t be the best you can in anything. Those who want to be the best they can go the extra mile – they bring order and control to their lives; they train themselves towards proper behavior. They practise daily. Paul says, “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Cor 9:24-27 NLT).
Discipline yourself to do the right thing not what is enjoyable; discipline yourself to be diligent and not lazy. “The desires of lazy people will be their ruin, for their hands refuse to work” (Prov 21:25 NLT). “If you have great talents, industry will improve them: if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency,” says, English painter and writer, Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792).
Don’t cut corners. Discipline yourself not to cheat. Cheats always live in the fear of being found out! In addition to loss of peace of mind, it may eventually lead to humiliation and loss of everything gained dishonestly. “The LORD hates cheating, but he delights in honesty” (Prov 11:1 NLT).
5. Avoid bad company. Show me your friends, and I can tell you what you’ll become. Iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17). You don’t use wood to sharpen a blunt cutlass. 1 Cor. 15:33 warns, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (NKJV).
If you want to be the best you can, you must not walk with the wrong people who will lead you astray, break your focus or discourage you. There are different ships sailing on the sea of life – friendship, partnership, courtship, etc. If you board the wrong ship, you’ll end at the wrong destination. Prov 13:20 says he who walks with the wise men will be wise but the companion of fools shall be destroyed. The righteous should choose his friends carefully (Prov 12:26). Friendship is not by force; it is by choice. Be wise who you company with in your journey of destiny.
6. Don’t rest on your laurels. Don’t be complacent if you want to be the best you can. Don’t be satisfied with your last or current performance or achievement; challenge yourself to be better. Remember you’re not competing with anybody’s destiny; you’re stretching yourself to actualize all of your potential; you’re pressing forward against all odds to empty everything God has deposited inside you to bless your world. It’s not about what others are doing; it’s about what you were created to do.
Paul said, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:12-14 NKJV). You must continue to improve yourself; strive to be better than you are at present.
7. Humble yourself. Don’t let your success go to your head. Don’t become over-confident. Don’t become arrogant looking down on others. Don’t mock or make jest of others you may think you’re better than. It is your destiny not theirs therefore no comparison. James 4:10 says you should humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up. Pride goes before destruction (Prov 16:18). According to Prov 11:2, “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (NLT).
Whatever is the level of your attainment, remain humble. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NKJV). God hates pride. Always wear the garment of humility. Clothe yourself with humility (1 Peter 5:5). Never remove it.
Conclusion: God has fearfully and wonderfully made you (Psalm 139:14), but what are you becoming? Are you striving to be the best you can or you’re contented continuing life as a mediocre person? You’ve not arrived yet; you still have a long way to go. You’ve not become your best yet. Strive to be the best you can. You can do everything with the help of Christ who gives you the strength you need (Phil 4:13).
If you’re not born again, please take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There, you’ll be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: “O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I’m a sinner and I can’t save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I’m saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God.”
I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You’ll need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you’ll be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523