Use the Improvement Test to Fill Your Life with the Best Things

“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.”

1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)

You make so many decisions every day. Most are ones you don’t even need to think about—like deciding to brush your teeth in the morning or to fill up your almost-empty gas tank. Others are matters of right or wrong, where you can rely on the wisdom of the Bible and your conscience.Sometimes, though, you have to decide between a good option and a best option. In situations like that, use the Improvement Test.

The Improvement Test asks: Will this make me a better person?

The Bible talks about this: “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV).

Notice in those verses the freedom you have. But as a Christian, even though you can do something, it may not be beneficial for you; not everything builds you up.

Some things are not necessarily wrong—they’re just not necessary. They’re not the best.

Most choices you make in life are not between good and evil. You don’t get up in the morning and ask, “Shall I read my Bible, or shall I commit a crime?”

You need to have a higher standard than right and wrong. You need to use the Improvement Test and ask what will make you a better person.

Do you know more about TV characters than about the people in the Bible—or the people in your own family? Maybe you spend hours reading books or magazines that fill your mind with things that don’t matter. Or you fill your weekends sitting on the couch watching sports. In today’s world, many people throw away countless hours staring at their phones.

Are these things always bad? No. Are they mostly a waste of time? Absolutely! Will they make you a better person? Absolutely not! So, the reality is, many people are spending their lives on second-class causes. But you don’t have to.

So as you make choices every day, don’t ask: Is there anything wrong with this?

Instead, ask: Is this making me a better person?

Don’t coast along, filling up your life with things that aren’t the best. Instead, take the things you spend your life on and hold them up against God’s Word to see if they’re the best.

Talk It Over

  • Think of a time when you had to choose between “good” and “best.” What decision did you make? What were the results?
  • Make a list of the major things you spend your time on each day. Then go to God’s Word and prayerfully consider whether those things are the best. Pray, “God, you know what’s best for me. I’m going to do what you tell me because I want to be a better person.”