We face constant opportunities to compare and seek validation from others. Whether scrolling through a social media site or talking with a group of friends, we see what the world considers success and fight the innate desire to see how we measure up. As we ascertain how we measure up in the world's opinion, there's a risk of forgetting that our personal relationship with God should determine our sense of success and self-worth. It is God's opinion of us that matters most, and by centering our lives on God and his plan for us, we feel a greater sense of accomplishment in our daily lives.
If you're searching for a deeper relationship with God, there are habits you can develop that will center your life around his standard. Here are three simple ideas you can use every day to block out the competing voices and align your desires with those of the father.
Prayer is direct communication with the divine. Tapping into the power of prayer each day gives you strength and lets you see yourself through God's eyes. He is willing to listen if you are willing to put in the time. Many of us wait for the "right" times to pray throughout the day, such as first thing in the morning, before bed, or over meals, but God is available and eager to listen all the time. There is a tremendous sense of relief that comes from unburdening yourself in prayer. Where it is sometimes difficult to open up to those around us, there is no worry about being misunderstood, ridiculed, or ignored when we pray.
Keep up with your already established prayer habits, but also consider breaking free from traditional ways to pray. Let your heart be open to prayer throughout your day, whether to give thanks, ask for remembrance, or pleading for blessings for another.
Immerse yourself in the word
The scriptures are the word of God, and they are constantly at your disposal. The simple act of sitting down each day to read scripture, even if you only have time for a verse or two, automatically orients our thoughts on God. Reading scripture in the morning is a great way to start the day with God in the forefront of your mind.
If you have more time at some point in the day, also consider writing down thoughts and impressions that come to you while you read. Prayer is the act of speaking to God, but often he answers us through the scriptures. If you're looking for answers to personal problems, the solution is probably somewhere in your book of scripture.
Think of others
No matter your religious affiliation, all the great leaders of all the major world religions set the example of selfless service. We get closest to God when we forget ourselves and go to work in his name. If you find yourself bogged down with feelings of inadequacy or jealousy, serving others provides an opportunity to see our blessings and strengths clearly.
In some stages of life, you may only have time to serve within your own household, and never forget that serving your children and spouse is noble work. If you find yourself in a season of life where you can give time outside the home, look for opportunities to serve God's children who are less fortunate than yourself. Through them you will come to see the mercy and love God has for all his children. The experience will greatly enrich and bless your life.
One of the greatest dangers we face each day is feeling less than in the sight of the world and forgetting the love God has for each of us. Each of these three habits, prayer, scripture study, and service, center our lives on God and remind us of our divine worth. The more we care about God's opinion of our lives the more we want to lift those around us. It's a wonderful cycle that blesses everyone.