The source for practicing the better is God, the One whose nature is love (hesed and agapé), and whose motivation is to redeem, rebuild, restore, and renew–as we say it in the liturgy, “whose property is always to have mercy.” We will use this primal reality as our focal point for this entire series, and we will return to it directly and indirectly again and again.
This source became incarnate in Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), “full of grace and truth”–two words that create the better in every situation. As we read the Gospels, we see Jesus practicing the better day-after-day, person-after person.
And after his resurrection and ascension, the Spirit carries on the same practice through the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)–bearing that fruit in us and through us, as we become instruments of God’s shalom.
This means that the practice of the better is no passing fancy or after thought. It is rooted in the heart of God and woven into the fabric of Reality. We are meant to be threads in this eternal and cosmic tapestry, offering ourselves to God as living sacrifices. (Romans 12:1).
The practice of the better is the Way. At this moment, we are either on the Way–or in the way.