Making Positive Changes in Your Life
By Jim Kilgore, Missionary Evangelist
Changes. We all try to make them. Many fail in the process. Was it a lack of commitment? Was it a lack of motivation? Perhaps the failure came simply because the person did not know how to properly create the change they desired. Though change is hard, it is NOT impossible.
Growing up I heard the following phrase many times: “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.” This was applied to different people. It was also used as an excuse for not making the necessary changes in one’s life. I have a problem with this philosophy however. First, you and I are not dogs. Second, God has called the Christian to a life of continual change. II Corinthians 5:17; II Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4: 15-32. Third, we are not talking about “tricks”, we are speaking about behaviors. ALL behaviors have been learned. Therefore, we can learn new and better behaviors.
The STRUGGLE in the change process
To make changes, that is to say, turn bad habits into good habits, requires effort. Lots of effort. We naturally tend to avoid effort whenever possible. This of course makes change much more of a challenge.
I have been taught and have certainly discovered this to be true: People will basically change for one of three reasons.
1. People will change when they honestly WANT to.
2. People will change when they really NEED to.
3. People will change when they sincerely WANT to.
The STRATEGY in the change process:
1. You need a PURPOSE. Once you do, this will become your MANDATE.
2. You need a PLAN. Once you do, this will become your MAP.
3. You need PRIORITIES. Once you do, this will become your MATRIX.
4. You need PASSION. Once you do, this will become your MOTIVATION.
5. You need PEOPLE. Once you do, this will become your MEASUREMENT.
The SOLUTION in the change process:
1. You must RECOGNIZE what exactly needs to be changed
2. You must RECORD your Reasons for wanting to change
3. You must REMOVE the old habit or behavior (Ephesians 4:15-32)
4. You must REPLACE the old with a new, godly habit (Ephesians 4:15-32). We call this the principle of replacement. This is simply replacing the negative with the positive.
5. You must RESIST the temptation to return to the old way of life (Resist the Devil and he will flee from you).
6. You must REPORT to another person to share your progress and struggles.
7. You must REJOICE and celebrate your successes.
Though change is hard, it is NOT impossible