If you ask anyone, we all probably have things about our lives that we would like to change, maybe a little or maybe a lot. Some of the most popular answers in this category would be to have a better job, lose weight, eat better, exercise more, have better relationships, etc, but are any of us actively doing anything to attain those things? Another way to look at it would be to consider finishing the sentence “My life would be better if I _____.” Maybe we don’t really know what would make our lives better, but we can speculate on a lot of things. If I had more money, I could do x, y, and z. If I didn’t have these self-destructive habits, I could be a better father, husband, employee, etc. If only I looked different or better, then people would respect me more. And the list could go on, as I’m sure we could all come up with a few things. Instead of considering what you need to do to be a better person, have you ever asked God what you should do? You might be surprised by the answer.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Habits are often difficult to change. If you are like me, you likely have daily rituals and routines that are pretty ingrained into your day that you do without thinking. Either stopping bad habits, or trying to implement healthy ones takes attention, determination, and often external support or accountability to make happen. If it was easy to quit destructive behaviors, most of us wouldn’t engage in them, but when they become habits, they are difficult to change. If you are a born-again believer, you know that a transformed life is definitely possible, regardless of your genetics or whatever environment you live in. In my daily work with others, we have specific written down goals that determines what we do, otherwise we could either say ‘you are doing great’, or horrible without a way to measure what we are working toward. Unless you have a specific plan and steps to make these changes in your life, chances are you will not likely see good results. Where have you experienced success and failure so far in your attempts to make any lasting changes?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Ask someone who has attained a goal in their life if it brought about what they wanted in their lives. If it was focused on temporal things like money, looks, success in business, fame, etc, it may not have brought about what they truly wanted. Have you ever set spiritual goals for yourself? Improving your prayer life, time in the Word, opportunities to give more to others, to mentor someone, to serve in new ways, etc? The one thing I have found that improves all these other things is to grow closer in relationship to Christ, and let Him guide your daily decisions, both big and little. When this becomes a reality and His influence increases in your life, then your selfishness and desire for worldly things diminishes significantly. I’ve been on both sides of this and found it to be most true. For lasting change starts with the heart, and when you have Good things at the center of your heart, good fruit will result that blooms in your life in ways you may never have expected. When Christ dwells in your heart, God will give you the desires He places there. May you find them.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
Yours in Christ,