Decision to change

so-if-you-dont-like-your-life-change-it-how-would-you-change-it-you-decide-theres-no-action-without-quote-1Yesterday’s post might have sounded harsh. While that wasn’t my intention, I am convinced that change will not happen until we decide to change. And we can’t decide to change until we start thinking about change.

I wish that I could live the abundant life that Christ gave me without me having to do  anything. It would be much easier if God just snapped his fingers and everything in my life changed. But it doesn’t happen that way. And you know why? Because I would lose my ever-loving mind! And I would always be afraid that I could lose it as quickly as I got it.

Picture this scenario…..

Y27e7a53525958b9a7e53f88bc9804c22ou get ready to go to bed with your life just as it is everyday. You know that tomorrow there will be laundry and dishes waiting for you when you wake up because you are just too tired to tackle them tonight. Your husband is laying in bed beside you watching some stupid television show with the volume turned up to concert levels. You can hear your kids arguing. And all you want is to get some sleep.a-stunning-picket-fencing-with-yellow-and-white-daisy-flower-also-fieldstone-paving-pathways-to-create-humble-atmosphere

You wake up in the next morning suddenly living in your spotless dream home  with the white picket fence. You feel and look like a million bucks. Your husband has suddenly morphed into  Prince Charming. Your children are acting like little angels.

And you don’t know what to do with yourself! The truth is that you can’t even really enjoy it because you know that tomorrow everything can go back to how it used to be.

This is why God allows us to participate in our own spiritual, relational, and physical transformation. He wants us to be able to enjoy the abundant life that Christ has promised. While He won’t snap his fingers and change everything,  we don’t have to do it on our own. God gives us more than enough grace to work through the changes that we need to make. He gives us wisdom to make better decisions and the self-control to follow through. He gives us peace that passes understanding. He gives us patience and perseverance to see it through. And He loves us with a perfect love that casts out all of our fear.

And all of these gifts come with the decision to change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

self-acceptance

How many of us accept ourselves as we are? Maybe it would be better to ask, “how few of
us accept ourselves as we are?”

I struggle with this because I fear that if I ever accepted myself as I am then I would become stale and stagnant. I’d stop trying to become a better version of myself.  I think I would give up and give in to life as I know it instead of searching for ways to experience the abundant life that I’ve been promised.

For me the better option may be loving oneself. And I’m not talking about selfish or self-centered love. I’m talking about loving oneself like we  love family, friends,  or  neighbors.

Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 Loving oneself allows the pursuit of  abundant life. Loving oneself prevents accepting things as they are and encourages each of us to seek out the best that God has promised in His word. Loving oneself encourages positive change and leads us on the journey of becoming who we are created in to become in Christ.  Loving oneself demands that we dethrone the goddesses of doubt, despair, and discouragement and give ourselves the love, joy,  peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and  self-control  that we wish we could give to others.

Loving oneself demands that we take care of ourselves. We feed our bodies nutritious foods, we exercise, and we schedule sleep so that we can have the physical strength to enjoy God’s creation, our families, friends, and, quite simply, the life we have been given.

When we love ourselves enough to receive God’s best, we have the strength to give it away.

When I was a pastor, I accepted people as they were when the first came to Christ. There was no condemnation for past choices. Yet, I never wanted them to stay the same. I wanted to see every person become a better version of themselves and to live a better life then they had ever experienced up to that point.  I wanted to see everyone around me reach their full potential in Christ and in the world we live in.

And I want that for you and me too.

Scripture References:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.