Am I Ever Going to Change? Part 2
People “act according to what they really believe, but not according to what they merely pretend to believe.” Henry Thiessen
Did you take some time and make a list of what you feel is holding you back from changing? If not go back, read Part 1 and take some time to think it through.
2 Corinthians 5:17 states clearly that the one who is IN Christ is a new creation. You are now rooted and built up in Him and your life is established in the faith as you have been taught (Colossians 2:7).
Christ Himself said that the person who builds a house that can withstand the storms of life hears His teachings and DOES them (Luke 6:46-49).
You and I will act according to what we really believe.
Let’s be practical and break it down.
1. What is holding you back from changing?
2. What does the Bible say about the thing that is holding you back?
Do you feel that it is a poor relationship holding you back from changing? (With your spouse, kids, parents, teachers, boss, church, etc.)
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus in John 15:12 (How did Jesus love us? “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we ALSO ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16)
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” Jesus in Matthew 5:44
What did the Bible just say to you when it comes to relationships? Treat that relationship differently this year. Pray for that person you are in a bad relationship with every single day, set an alarm to do it at a regular time each day. Don’t pray that they will change into the person you want them to be, pray that God will heal your relationship with them and then begin build (re-build) it. Ask God to show you opportunities in which you can love them and bless them as Christ loved and blessed you. Pray that they are successful in all the good endeavors they pursue in their lives and are unsuccessful in all the unrighteous endeavors in their lives. When they trouble you, you bless them.
Radical approach? You bet it is. Can you imagine what will happen if you approach that relationship this way for 365 days? Even if that person doesn’t change…..YOU CERTAINLY WILL! Or you can go about that relationship the same exact way you have in the past and it will at best be the same by the end of year, but you already know most likely it will be worse.
If you honestly feel that it is this poor relationship that is holding you back from changing why wouldn’t you put God’s Word to work in that relationship?
I can’t answer why you wouldn’t, but I can tell you why I wouldn’t and sadly haven’t in the past.
I don’t feel they deserve me treating them with that kind of love and honor.
I don’t believe it will make a difference.
I don’t want to work that hard.
My answer #1. Goodness do I really understand what Christ did for me? Did He only do it for me? The depth of my own sin and the hardness of my own heart needs to be dealt with. Good chance I’m a bigger problem in the relationship then the other person due to my own selfishness and sin and lack of understanding of the grace of God.
My answer #2. Do I really understand what faith is? If everything just worked immediately then faith really has no reason to exist. Faith is built in difficult situations when I remain steadfast in my belief and trust in God. God remained faithful when I was faithless and as a result I came to know Him. Faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6) so my primary reason for having faith in seemingly hopeless situations is to please God not to please others, myself or the person I have the issue with.
My answer #3. Laziness gets me nowhere and benefits no one. God worked six days and rested one. Work is a part of God’s original creation and is part of our future eternity as well. Work is good, hard work is good for the soul. Perseverance produces character and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-5). Laziness has always produced nothing and simply builds our lives on the sand, which will not stand when the storms come.
I challenge you to research what the Bible has to say about what you feel is holding you back from changing. The path and tools to change are right in front of you. God has great things in store for you in 2018. Take the step, you won’t regret it!