Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

ID-100207202-2We all have things in our lives we want to change. Maybe we don’t like the way we treat our neighbor, the prejudices we hold in our heart, or maybe we struggle to be free from addiction. Perhaps we want to stop an annoying habit, be less self-centered, or take better care of our body. Whatever the desire, change doesn’t come easily and often doesn’t stick.

One reason for this is that we try to change by subtracting something from our lives. For example, I’ll eat less and lose weight. I’ll remove the temptation in order to be less tempted. I’ll avoid the bar so as not to drink. I’ll make myself be nicer to that difficult person. This strategy may work for awhile, but then we find ourselves relapsing into old patterns.

The reason is that this type of change effort comes from the outside. We stop something in order to be “better.”

But 2 Corinthians 3:18 gives us insight into how real change occurs.  “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

The how to real change is in the who! Change that is transformative does not come by subtracting something from our lives. It doesn’t come by willing ourselves to be different. It doesn’t come by doing good things, even Christian things.

Real change comes from being with Christ and allowing Him to transform us by his grace. We can’t rip out the idols in our lives. They are rooted in sin. Only God can effectively deal with sin.

So if we really want to change, we must allow the person of Christ to transform us in His image every day. We do this by spending time in His presence. There we are changed. The how is in the who!

Yes, we can see counselors for help. We can put accountability in our lives, work on negative thinking and patterns of behavior. But ultimately, God must do a work in our hearts. No political, governmental or program solution will bring about true change because it is an external solution to an internal problem. If you want to see make change, sit with the One who transforms and changes hearts.

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