Saturday, July 16, 2011

Change is Hard

A friend lost a lot of weight very quick on one of the latest fad diets. Now she is depressed because she gained it right back.

It made me think about change. Change can be very hard. I sometimes think we look for the easy fix because we don't want to travel the hard road to lasting change. Other times it takes a crisis to force change. After a heart attack the doctor almost demands change. The person on the edge of diabetes is told of needed diet changes “or else”.

A friend of mine, Nate Larkin, said this, "Most of the time we will not change until it’s less painful to change than to stay the way we are." I find that to be true. I could quickly make a list of areas that need to change in my life. I fear the work involved and progress is not made; it's not even started. I'm waiting for a crisis.

Sometimes I think we avoid change because we fear what will be different. We fear what we will lose. As I thought about losing weight the biggest thought in my mind was the loss of eating what I wanted when I wanted. Did I really want that?

Sometimes we look at the huge list of changes we need to make and that scares us. How about taking one at a time?

I don't have an easy answer on this change thing. Most of the time it's going to involve some hard work and things will be different after. But one encouraging thing is it seems after the dust settles that we find the changes that were necessary to bring change are okay and sometimes great.

It could be that we sometimes avoid change and the work involved because of lies. The devil and others want us to stay in our old, messed up condition. All sorts of dire things go through our mind as we ponder change. It will be too painful, it will cost too much, or how will I live without my favorite drug or my favorite addiction.

And the biggest hindrance to good changes is we forget God. We think it's up to us alone. We forget that grace is amazing. We forget what can be accomplished with his help and power. We live like atheists.

Many times the voice we hear pushing us towards change is the Holy Spirit. The challenge then is to agree, to admit, to confess to God and others and to take the first step. Think about Peter when he walked on the water. He had to step out of the boat and then something amazing happened. His miraculous experience was then cut short as he looked around and let his fear take over. He forgot that Jesus had told him to come and that the miracle was from God, not him or nature.

Facing the need for change? Have your own ideas and ways failed? Are fear and discouragement about past failures or the unknown paralyzing? Well it's Jesus calling. He says come. Look straight to him and take that first step. Then keep your eyes fixed on him. The change will be amazing.


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