I've got crap in my life.
I'm a screw-up. I hold grudges. I bend the truth. I'm opinionated and rub it in people's faces. I break things and try to hide them so no one finds out. I take so much pride in my work that I unfairly criticize the honest work of others. I have a temper, and when I get angry, I become irrational, almost violent at times.
I'm discontent with myself. I hunger for more, for better.
God expects me to be a much different kind of person. Jesus Christ, the model of Christianity, demonstrated perfect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.
Maybe my expectations for myself are too high, but I strive for the perfection that Christ modeled. And I am far from it.
One thing that I have learned along the way, though, is this:
Change doesn't happen on accident.
If I want to better represent Christ, I have to pursue it intentionally.
To overcome my pride, I have to respect the work of others. So I try to step back from myself and honestly evaluate their work. I look at their level of experience, at the amount of time that they had to invest in the work, and at the degree of training that they've had. And usually I find that, for their situation, they did a pretty remarkable job. Probably better than I would have done in the same situation.
To overcome my anger, I have to understand the perspective of others. So I try to step back from myself and see their history. I look at how they were raised, what their life experiences have taught them, and what issues they have in their lives currently. I also have to look at myself. Did my words, tone, actions, or body language convey a message that I didn't intend? Usually, the answer is yes.
I know God forgives my misdeeds, but I desire to be as close to him as possible. And I know that I'm not going to wake up one morning and suddenly have it all together, so I take each step at a time.
One deliberate step at a time.