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February 03, 2022
How Can I Change?
By Kelly Adkins

It only takes one glance through the magazines in the grocery checkout line to confirm our culture’s obsession with transformation: 

Eat, Look, and Live Better; Spend Smarter and Live Happier; Amazing Before and After Makeovers…of Home or Work or Body or Self.

We know we are not enough. 

So we constantly fill our prayers and our screens and our souls with the “ideal” — with all the possibilities of revision: How do I become someone else?

The good news? God already knows we are not enough; it’s the reason He sent His Son to change our hearts and His Spirit to change our lives. 

Change is His idea — He wants us to be transformed into His glory, to grow to live in order to please God, and to be made holy  (2 Corinthians 3:18, I Thessalonians 4:1, Hebrews 10:14). 

But how do we do it? And why is change often so hard? 

How do I change?

One of the most well-known verses of the Bible gives us a way forward:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

There are plenty of next steps to see in this scripture:

True change starts with grace.

Good change begins “in view of God’s mercy,” with a panoramic view of His grace towards us. Start here, and we’ll want to change in response to His love instead of our failures. 

We can also face our need to change with the comfort of His unconditional acceptance. He has been patient with us, so we can be patient with ourselves. 

Godly change always begins with compassion, not self-condemnation.

True change takes a surrender. 

True change asks us to sacrifice our desires. It always lays down on the altar to be set ablaze by the Spirit, putting God in HIs place and us in ours as “true and proper worship.” 

Godly change always says ‘not my will, but yours be done.’

True change demands new targets. 

When our prayers for change go unanswered, it’s often because we are asking to “conform to the pattern of this world” — to gain attention, money, appearance, power, control. If we’re finding it hard to change, we’re probably working on something in us that God is not.

He has more for us. To find it, we must “renew our minds” — to listen to the right voices, to learn from the right teachers, and to have “the mind of Christ.” 

Godly change aims for godly intentions.

True change takes a true reason. 

Ours, as Christians, is to become more like Christ. Romans 12:2 says we should desire to change because it helps us know what God’s will is and to do it, which was the goal of Jesus’ mission on earth: For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me (John 6:38).

Godly change starts with God’s will as the goal. 

True change takes time. 

There’s a reason we are given a lifetime; there are no quick fixes toward becoming like Jesus. Even Jesus didn’t find one — he begged the Father for a road other than the one that would lead Him to the cross. We must walk in the way that has been planned for us.

Godly change takes God-timed seasons.

When will I change?

We can try to scrub and scour the stubborn, burned spots off of our soul, but all of the elbow grease of willpower can’t make up for a slow soak in truth and obedience. 
Beware of change that is promised too quickly. It is often the way that seems right, but that in the end, leads to a death formed out of self-made, self-help, self-trust. (Proverbs 14:12)

Change that grows from lies weaves itself into healthy bones like a cancer — a growth that is rapid but only weakens and kills us in the end, because it grew the wrong thing.

Masterworks take time. Above all, they take the Master’s Work, not ours (Ephesians 2:10). We  surrender, and we choose His goals, and we obey — again, and again, and again. 

And suddenly, we look up, and see more of our God in the mirror.

1 Comment

  1. C Johnson

    This article was very helpful for me. Straight to the point and easy to understand. Thank you God bless


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