He makes your life better, not worse

Don Miller tells a story about when he started to take God more seriously in his life. 

A key moment came at Christmas: “For my mother that year I had purchased a shabby Christmas gift—a book, the contents of which she would never be interested in. I had had a sum of money with which to buy presents, and the majority of it I used to buy fishing equipment, as Roy and I started fishing in the creek behind Wal-Mart… 

“[In] my room that night were wonderful presents—toys, games, candy, and clothes… So in the moonlight I drifted in and out of anxious sleep, and this is when it occurred to me that the gift I had purchased for my mother was bought with the petty change left after I had pleased myself. I realized I had set the happiness of my mother beyond my own material desires.”*

Here’s the thing. When we first start to think about prioritizing God in a meaningful way, we assume it will make our lives worse, as if we need to sacrifice our joy on the altar of obedience. 

But that’s a short-sighted way to look at it. When we live more aligned with God that makes our lives better, not worse.

Sure, there will be some adjustments. Our egos and immediate material desires get cranky when we start telling them that life is not all about them.

But when we start putting God first, we start to feel more at peace; we have a clearer conscience; we feel less worried that we’re wasting our life; and we start to feel better because we are actively blessing the people around us. 

Oh, and there’s also the simply, satisfying joy.

In Galatians 1:20 Paul writes: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

Is God the god-of-your-scraps, or the God of your salvation?

When we live more aligned with God that makes our lives better, not worse.


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–Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 9-10.

–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on November 7, 2022.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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