Overcome worry.  You can't become the person God created you to be unless you break free of worry.  Realize that God won't often give you comfortable circumstances, but He will always be present with you as you go through them, helping you grow in the process.  Choose to trust God even when you feel afraid.  As you move forward in trust, God's perfect love will flow through you and cast out your fear.  Pray about your concerns instead of worrying about them, and ask other people to support you in prayer.

Deal with sin wisely.  Talk with God regularly about your problems and desires.  Be honest about when you're facing temptation, and ask God to help you overcome it.  Make time to rest, relax, and enjoy life so you won't be as vulnerable to temptation as you would be if you were dissatisfied.  Recognize which types of sins are more appealing to you than others, and become aware of your particular sin patterns.  Listen to the Holy Spirit when He convicts you of sin.  Regularly confess your sins and repent of them so you can keep growing. 

Deepen your relationship with God and others.  Spend time alone with God in prayer regularly.  It's during prayer, when God's Spirit touches your spirit, that you come closest to being fully yourself.  Make life-giving relationships with other people a high priority.  Take all the opportunities you have to give and receive love.  Be real with yourself, other people, and God.  Learn from your relationships with difficult people; let the challenges of relating to them help you grow. 

View your work as service.  Any kind of work you do is worthwhile, because your work is ultimately service to God.  When you give your best effort to your work to honor God, He will use your work experiences to help you grow into a better person. 

Deal with challenges well.  God isn't at work producing the circumstances you want; He's at work in bad circumstances producing the person He wants you to become.  Keep in mind that even your best circumstances are temporary, but the person you become will go on forever.  Trust God to bring something good out of even the most challenging situations you go through.  Use the greater sense of compassion that God will give you in the process to help make the world a better place.

Adapted from The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You, copyright 2010 by John Ortberg. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.zondervan.com
John Ortberg is a pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Faith & Doubt; When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box; God Is Closer Than You Think; The Life You've Always Wanted; Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them; If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat; Love Beyond Reason; and (with Kevin Harney) the multimedia curriculum Old Testament Challenge. He and his wife, Nancy, have three children.

Original publication date: February 22, 2010