“Be Better” was a main theme at the OPEN Connect last month.  The admonishment to be better wasn’t meant in a striving or legalistic way, but to truly ask God how we each can be better in every area of our life and work (prayer, marriage, witnessing, business, community, etc).
This morning as I prayed through Psalm 86 I was struck with David’s desire is to be better.  This is revealed several times in the chapter, but verse 11 struck me in particular.  David prays, Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.  David has been walking with God for many years, yet he still has the mindset of a learner, he longs to be better.
Since the OPEN Connect I have been encouraged with the number of OPEN workers who have shared ways they are seeking to be better.  One worker just wrote how Ephesians 3:20 struck him with Paul’s yearning to be better.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
This worker writes, “Paul praises the God who is able to do immensely more than we could ever ask or imagine. Really?  ASK or IMAGINE?  I don’t know about you, but I could sure grow to “be better” with my asking and imagining.” (emphasis his)
Personally I was greatly encouraged last week as the lead pastors in our church in Michigan invited my wife and me to lunch, where they proceeded to query us on our finances.
“How much money do you make?”
“How much of your income is from your businesses and how much from churches?”
“Who’s holding you accountable with your monies?”
These guys were asking these questions not in legalistic ways but so as to know our situation and help us to remain above reproach in our life and work – to be better.
In addition to David and Paul, God sets the bar pretty high when He tells us in Matthew 5,
You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
BAM, B4T, tentmaking is hard.  Sometimes it’s downright painful.  And many times we want to quit.  But God tells us in the midst of the pain – Be better.  Give Me your best.  Yes it hurts, but is this your best?  We are not to lower the bar just because it’s difficult.  Rather we are to discipline our bodies and keep them under control, lest after preaching to others we ourselves should be disqualified.  (1 Cor 9:27 paraphrased)
What areas of our life and work can we upgrade in this week?  Write down a few things, share them with a friend or spouse.  David and Paul set the pace.  Let’s join them this week in striving to be better in our life and work.  For God’s glory, we can be better.
Personally, I have been asking myself and I invite you to think about these questions as well;
·         Am I satisfied with doing average?
·         Do I live as if my work is worship unto Jesus?
·         Do I consider my relationships with co-workers as opportunities to bless God?
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  Pastor Reinhold Niebuhr
Perhaps it could be better put… “God grant me the serenity to accept the person I cannot change, the courage to change the person I can, and the wisdom to know that I am that person.”

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.