My small group just began a study titled The Me I Want to Be, becoming God's best version of you by John Ortberg. There's little doubt that for most of us there's a gap (sometimes a GIANT gap) between the me that I am right now and the me that I want to be. There are several bits of good news about this gap, however.
The first bit of good news is that God is not done making me in His image. That process will take place for all of the days of my life. Whew . . . that's a relief! If I am as good a reflection of God as I'm ever going to be, then I'm a pretty poor reflection of Him. It's a relief to know that God plans to continue to chip away at and mold me to look more and more like Him through the entire course of my life. That gives me both hope and keeps me humble. It gives me hope that the best version of me is better than the version that you and I see right now. It keeps me humble by reminding me that that I will never reach a point where I'm an accurate reflection of my Maker . . . at least on this side of heaven. I will never reach the point when I can stop striving to be the best version of me.
Another bit of goods news is that God is not making us all the same. It was a great relief to me when I finally realized that God's image looks different on each one of us. He created each of us uniquely with a particular set of skills, talents and desires. When He refines those skills, talents and desires in us, we will not look the same as before nor will we look like one another. I like to think of it this way: That's why they make chocolate AND vanilla ice cream. Both are good but they are not the same. Some prefer one and some the other. You and I can both ultimately be a good reflection of God without looking just the same.
One of the things I like best about our small group is the diversity of people within the group. We have liberals and conservatives. We have native southerners and native northerners, people who have lived on the east coast, west coast and around the world. We have people in the 50's, 40's and 30's (and we hope to soon have some in their 20's). We represent at least of some the diversity that exists in the Body of Christ . . . and that's good. We learn from one another when we don't all share similar experiences and gifts and we are stronger for it. I think that's at least some of what the Apostle Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27.
In what ways do you see God at work making you into the best version of you?