I recently made the comment that, “Sometimes we sacrifice the best because we are content with just the good.” I think it was Saint Jerome who said: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”
If my memory serves me well, it was Ernest Hemingway who said: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
The business of being better is discussed in several places in the Wisdom Books of the Bible. My Top 10 list of verses follows below:
- Psalm 37:16: A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.
- Psalm 118:8: It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
- Proverbs 15:16: Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble.
- Proverbs 15:17: Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.
- Proverbs 16:8: Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice.
- Proverbs 16:16: How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
- Proverbs 16:19: Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
- Proverbs 16:32: He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
- Proverbs 17:1: Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.
- Proverbs 19:1: Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
I hope these verses serve as a motivator to get you started in the pursuit of betterness. Once you get started, you can develop the habits that will keep you going.