Are we just lying to ourselves?
In my last Sunday2Monday post, I said: “As long as we are thinking that this is a great teaching series and something that is needed for the people of God but we are unwilling to put it into practice in our own lives, we will not enter into God’s rest.”
I was talking about the church but it applies to life in general too. How often do we listen to good teaching or training, think to ourselves that it was a great message then check our mental “checklist” box and move on without doing anything with what we have heard? Why is it so hard to put into practice? I will tell you, but first I have a few things to say.
As a leader in the church, I believe it is my job to point to Jesus and say “He already paid it all. He already has given it to you. Just walk through the door!” I have seen a few people who have walked through and they have been rapidly renewed in Jesus, becoming a whole new person, seemingly overnight. But I don’t see that widespread. I see a lot of come in and go out as if the talking heads song was on repeat, “same as I ever was” playing in the background of life. If we are not continually growing, we are most likely drifting and drifting is dangerous.
So why is it so hard? Change! Did you know that 20% of people will resist change no matter what? Just try to change the coffee or go digital when your church has always used paper in the past. You will see the uncomfortable face of “I don’t like change” rear its head.
3 reasons why people don’t like change
- Change is not comfortable – I know a little something about this one! I moved 13 times before I was 14 years old. That is a lot of change. I could tell you many stories about starting a new school in the middle of the school year. It was never comfortable trying to learn a new school and its ways. Trying to make new friends and often making enemies. It was scary! I use to think back on this time and dredge up those feelings of being uncomfortable then use them as an excuse to stay small, shrink back, and not move forward into new things and new ways. As I grew and matured I didn’t continue in that line of thinking and you don’t have to either! We must learn that having a willingness to change makes us flexible and supportive of others. When we learn this our leaders, family, and friends find that we value growth and there is a willingness in us to be ready to serve at a greater capacity then we use too. They feel supported, we move through discomfort, and we welcome change together.
A willingness to change makes us flexible and supportive of others. –Tweet this!
2. Change takes effort – I have to work at making changes in my life, it doesn’t just happen. God gives us grace. God gives the increase but we still have to plant the seed and water the ground. If you want to see that back corner of your yard turn into a garden with fruits and vegetables? You will have to hoe the ground, build the fence, clear the debris and do the work. Don’t forget to pluck the weeds. We have to be careful that we are not just punching our church attendance ticket and calling it good without any movement in our hearts. We don’t want to be guilty of treating church or our any of our relationship like a TV program. It takes no effort, other than you turn it on, watch it, and turn it off. Maybe even scroll mindlessly for a little while. If we treat church, learning, and growth this way. We will have a serious problem in the long run.
3. Change means change – We can’t help that we will grow older. It will happen. Our bodies will get old. Change always does 1 thing: It change changes us! So, what does that say about our habitual do – nothing – let the years slide by attitude we have toward our spiritual life? The only One who does not change is Jesus. In fact, we are to become more and more like Jesus. That means growth! That means Change! Because let’s face it, we are not like Jesus on most days. The world chants to us to just “Be who you are!” but without Jesus, being who we are is a lesser copy of who we were created to become. Living a life of meaningful change means dying to yourself, living to serve others, and making Jesus more important than our own agendas. This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory! Lean in. One glimpse of Jesus could change everything.
The question of the day: What change do you need in your life? And how can you let that change happen?
A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT HABITS
Habits can serve you or deter you. Why do you think it is so hard to change something in your life? We live in habitual motions. We have routines built into our day whether we like routine or not. When a habitual movement gets broken then all the things connected to it also fall apart. It’s like a little saying I use “little shifts make big changes.” This is why change is scary and why people don’t like it. One little change messes with more than just what you think you’re changing.
Little shifts make big changes. – Tweet this!
If you allow your inner self to be renewed day by day as you follow the Lord. CHANGE WILL HAPPEN. If you don’t. CHANGE WILL HAPPEN and you won’t like it and you may wake up one day and not recognize the self you drifted into.
I have a habit that I have kept for several years. I intentionally mess with my life. At certain points of the year, I reevaluate what is happening in my life. Let me explain this using the example of a Rubik cube. With each twist of the cube, the colors come together or they don’t, but it changes the whole cube. Each year I ask myself some great questions and when I see that something is not working or serving my life in Christ any longer, I twist the sides of the cube and do something different. I am not afraid to try something new because I know the value and power a little change can have in life.
Are you willing to make the change needed? If so, start here:
- Take a look at your habits.
- Take a look at your heart.
Gretchen Rubin has a great book called Better than Before, I read this book last summer. I was working on a new habit in my life: walking. Gretchen lays down some serious help in understanding how habits work and how they can hinder.
“A ‘routine’ is a string of habits, and a ‘ritual’ is a habit charged with transcendent meaning” – Gretchen Rubin
I don’t like walking just for walking’s sake. So I looked at my habits and my heart. I found a little niche of time just after I dropped off my son at school and before I started work. I decided with my whole heart that I was wasting this time talking on the phone, surfing the web, or some other time snatcher. I put walking right in that space and I have had great success getting my steps in. This little shift made a big change. It has ramped up my mental energy level in the mornings. It is amazing the amount of stuff I have been able to get done. Habits can become routines that serve our lives into well-being or they can lull us to sleep, keeping us stuck in bad cycles. Its time to be proactively growing in our spiritual life not just punching a ticket and calling it good.
Thanks for Listening,