It’s Time to Change!
By Jon and Debra Carr
2012 is finally here! Have you set new goals? Let’s guess what some of them are: eat less, spend less, work out more, and read more. Pretty close, huh?
Well, before you get too impressed with our ability to know people, we have to confess that we’ve made the same kinds of resolutions every year for the majority of our adult lives. Most people do.
The problem is that by the time Memorial Day rolls around, we have forgotten what or why we have made the decisions we made only a few months ago. Then we are back to our old habits and often with more fortitude than we had before. How does it happen? Why do we repeat the same mistakes year after year? How can we stick with doing the things we know we need to do? The answer to all of these questions is CHANGE.
Someone once said to us, “Change is not change until you change.” This statement is so true. Most of us know we need to change, the next question is “how?” Let’s look at the final authority—the Word of God. Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], by be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Philippians 2:5, “Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus; [Let Him be your example in humility].” [Amplified Bible]
These scriptures give us three things we need to do before real change can happen:
Real change takes place in the mind (our attitude, our way of thinking and our perspective). For example, if I have a challenge with overeating or eating the wrong foods, and I am endeavoring to change the way I eat, I must first change my attitude about food. I can no longer look at a huge piece of chocolate cake as a treat or something I owe myself. My new attitude toward the piece of cake is that it will not produce life, it does not nourish my body, and I don’t need the extra calories. According to Romans 12:1 “…you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…”
Real change is change when it is the will of God. When the changes we make are in the will of God, they may not be easy but there is a grace to make them. There is an anointing to do what might be overwhelming to some. To you, however, you make an effort but it is with ease. For example, one December several years ago, our family realized that in order to accomplish something we desired, we would all have to increase our daily prayer time. We adjusted our daily schedules to allow more time for prayer. The amazing thing was that it seemed as if we had all gained more time to do other things rather than lost time. We became more productive. Why? It was the will of God to change.
Real change is change when it is complete change. We have two senior men in our lives who grew up in extreme poverty. Each one began working at an early age and had to support not only themselves but several siblings. Today, all three men are very wealthy. Their financial situation has changed. They have enough money to pay cash for any car, house, or any other material thing they could think of. However, if you talk to any of these men for any length of time, they will tell you how broke they are. They each will tell you that all they want to do is have enough money when they die. One often eats food prepared in substandard conditions. Another runs out of gas many times—not because he doesn’t have enough money to fill his gas tank—he carries thousands of dollars in cash on him at all times. He says he can’t fill up his gas tank because he couldn’t afford to 50 years ago. Now that he can afford to do so, something (his un-renewed mind, in the area of money) won’t let him. These men have made a partial change; they no longer live in poverty. But their change is not complete because poverty is still in them (in their thinking, in their way of doing things).
One of our favorite quotes by John Maxwell is “As you begin changing your thinking, start immediately to change your behavior. Begin to act the part of the person you would like to become. Take action on your behavior. Too many people want to feel, then take action. This never works.”
As you make a commitment to change make it a daily habit to read, meditate and act on God’s Word and you will be completely changed!