The dawn of each New Year brings the promise of new potential. We’re bombarded with advertisements on how to become richer, healthier or a more influential version of ourselves. After all, who wouldn’t want to improve?
As I talk to friends and family, the desire to change is usually not the issue. Otherwise, by year’s end most of us would have dazzling results. However, the method we choose is quite a different matter.
Turning the page of the calendar is not the same as being transformed. Real change takes real work. And it involves changing the way we think.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 NLT
I’ve let people’s comments annoy me.
I’ve let tiramisu tempt me.
I’ve let the possibility of failure scare me.
Why not let God change me? With or without my knowledge, so many other things have had their say. But knowing His “good and pleasing and perfect” will rarely involves taking an easy path or making a popular choice.
In fact, God’s method for changing me usually comes through difficult circumstances and messy encounters. Apparently, simple doesn’t carry enough weight or I simply won’t change any other way.
What improvements would you like to make in 2017? I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions but I’m always in need of godly transformation. So for the next six weeks, I’m exploring these character goals:
Each week I’ll share the challenges and rewards of embracing one of these principles. Prayerfully, delving into these topics will help us see they are for our good. We can also see how each principle pleases the Lord and perfectly aligns us with His plan.
When I let go of my weaknesses and fears, I learn a lot about the faithfulness of God. I learn His ways are not mine and my limitations are not His.
Without godly transformation, I’m left with the futile attempt of trying to change on my own. The outcome is always a heart breaking rendition of what could have been good or what should have been better.
At worst, I choose to stay stuck in a loop of frustration wondering how I’ll get out. At best, I make another choice – the wisest choice — God’s choice.
However, when I “let God” change me, I’m not doing Him a favor; I’m inviting His favor into my life (also known as His good and pleasing and perfect will).
I’m excited about the journey ahead. If we run into difficult or messy, we’ll say hello to transformation. God’s grace and mercy will escort us as we press through discomfort (and discovery) together.
If you’re thinking about your next steps in 2017, I hope you’ll join me here each week. As we commit to “let God” change us, we can encourage one another and receive more hope for the heart and joy to the soul.