Nine How-tos of Change
By Keith Phillips
Take stock and set goals. Make a list of the areas you want to change in and what you can do to bring those changes about. Putting goals and plans in writing will help crystallize your thoughts and firm your commitment.
Program the changes into your daily or weekly schedule. Without a definite plan, good intentions will probably soon be forgotten or get lost in the press of everything else you have to do.
Depend on Jesus, not willpower, intellect, or natural ability alone. The Bible tells us, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8) and “Happy are those whose strength comes from [God]. The people get stronger as they go.” (Psalm 84:5a,7a)
Find instruction and encouragement in God’s Word. God promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” (Psalm 32:8) An online Bible-search site, concordance, or Bible study help such as Keys to Happier Living, Bible Basics, and Key Bible Verses makes it much easier to find what the Bible has to say about specific topics related to the changes you want to make.
Join or form a support group. Being around like-minded people provides positive reinforcement and moral support—two catalysts of change. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9) “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:1)
Thank God for His help. The more you show your gratitude, the more God will want to do for you. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” (Psalm 100:4)
When you fall short, ask God to help you keep trying. “A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again.” (Proverbs 24:16) “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” (Psalm 37:24)
Keep believing that you can change, with God’s help. Claim verses that increase your faith, such as, “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure,” (Philippians 2:13) and “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
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