With all the self help books out there, sometimes we don't take the necessary steps to change us into the person God wants us to be. We don't believe that God can really change our circumstances, attitudes or our habits. We spend more time on the problem instead of on the solution to the problem, change.
There is a first step or a change agent required for anyone to change, but many just abandon the whole thing without considering the fact that they can change.
For example: We are a constantly late person. We accept the fact that this is our identity instead of asking the question... "Should we be a constantly late person?" or " Is our lateness causing a problem for others, having a negative impact or showing disrespect?"
This is where the motivation of having a Holy Spirit comes in. We say without God we cannot change this behavior. We should say, "I have God. I can change. I can become an on-time person."
Because the Holy Spirit has given us the guilt or other type of motivation we now want to change. So we use this motivation to make a change. We take steps to not to be late. We set our clocks fast, we stop doing meaningless tasks around the time we should be leaving for appointments where we lose track of time. We become aware of the reason we are late and start getting ready sooner. Lateness becomes the exception.
The change, I described above, is also the formula for learning not to be a lair, manipulator, excuse maker, and it works with sins and bad habits.
Ephesians 4:31-5:4 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.1. You have to want to change and ask God to help you change.
2. You have to take steps to change
- Look at your motivation for doing what you do
- Look at the path the action takes you on and stop the process long before you commit the act
- Take steps to keep you from committing the action and/or substitute good things for wrong actions or thoughts.
Here is another example: I wanted to stop yelling at my kids. I asked God to help me stop yelling at my kids. I started looking at my motivation to yell, the times I yelled and what was going on at the time when I lost my cool. I realized, I tend to yell when I'm hungry, when I'm overwhelmed or attempting to control a behavior. I learned that if I feel the need to yell, I stop, call the kid to me, hold their hand and tell them the behavior I want to see. I also take steps to be really careful when I am hungry to give them a little more grace, that I might be over-reacting. Yelling comes only for safety issues and they are now more likely to respond quickly if I raise my voice for things that are serious.
Until you want to change whether by guilt or the desire to improve yourself you don't. He will point out your bad habits, sins and behaviors that need to change through the Holy Spirit. God will not force you to change your ways. You have to be willing to try or take steps to change. You have to decide whether you let your circumstances leave you hopeless or do you change your circumstances. He has given you the Holy Spirit to help you change for good, your good.
John 14:26: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
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