Eight How-tos of Change
1. Take stock and set goals. Make a list of the areas you want to change in and what you need to do to change in those areas. Refer to your list daily at first, then as needed until the desired good habits are formed (James 1:23-25).
2. Find instruction and encouragement in God’s Word. “How can a young man”—or anyone, for that matter—“cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word” (Psalm 119:9). A concordance or Bible study helps make it much easier to find what the Bible has to say about specific topics related to the changes you desire.
3. Depend on the Lord, not on your own strength or your ability. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. … Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). But the Bible also promises that you can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).
4. Find others who are going the way you want to go and associate with them. Being around like-minded people provides positive reinforcement and moral support—two important 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 27:17).
5. Ask others to pray for you. The Bible tells us to confess our faults one to another and pray for one another (James 5:16), and Jesus Himself promised that if two or more agree on anything in prayer, their heavenly Father will do it for them (Matthew 18:19). There is great power in united prayer.
6. Continually thank and praise the Lord for His help. The more you do, the more He “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” will want to do for you, so “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise” (Ephesians 3:20; Psalm 100:4).
7. When you fail, ask the Lord 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).
8. Keep trusting and believing that you can change, with God’s help. Claim verses that increase your faith in His ability to change you, such as, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24), “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure,” (Philippians 2:13), “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), 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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