Do You Even WANT To Change Your Life?
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
For years, I didn’t want what Jesus had to offer, my body and soul was still too rebellious. I wanted to do things my way! The problem with “my way,” is that Jesus did not approve of it.
The blueprint that He had laid out for me (and everyone), by allowing Him to live through me–I did not want to build my life on that. I didn’t yet want it. I didn’t trust him enough to do things His way.
So what happened to me? Old Matt (the matt who hadn’t yet allowed Jesus to renew his mind) kept banging his head against the same dumb wall, and then blaming the wall for his headache. Old Matt kept going around the same stupid mountain, and then blaming the mountain for my poor sense of direction.
Then one day, I finally had a come-to moment, “I gotta change.”
I gotta change.
Not people, not circumstances, but me.
I was ruining my entire life trying to change people and circumstances in which I had no power to change. So the Holy Spirit finally convinced me of this: “Stop getting upset about what you can’t control, instead just do your best to control what you can, my way. Then you’ll have peace.”
EUREKA! I’VE GOT IT! CHANGE ME! Well alrighty then!
But I believe that in order to have these “come-to moments,” we gotta try things out our own way long enough to realize our way don’t work. Some people have this moment of repentance early in life, some in the middle, and some even decide to change–to want it–after they are old and gray, which is a very good thing!
9 years old or 90, as long as your heart is still beating, it’s never too late to make healthy changes. God keeps us alive for a reason–that reason, is to become exactly like Jesus, gracefully.
The sad thing is, some people never decide to change. They simply do not want it. And they don’t want it because they think they don’t need it–and they think they don’t need it because of a nasty little word that the devil plants in our souls: pride. Pride is the root of all sins as well as a terrible life! Out of pride grows:
- Unforgivness. If a Christian is too full of pride in their souls to realize Christ forgave them unconditionally, that they refuse to give that same forgiveness away to others, then they can expect a frustrating life. This change they refuse to make, COMPLETE FORGIVENESS, is the same as them punching themselves in the mouth. It’s dumb, and pointless. The devil licks his chops at unforgivness. We must remember that the entire premise of Christianity is based on forgiveness. So when someone continues to bring up old hurts caused by others, and the sins which have already been taken care of by God–those hurts and sins are now on them, and them alone. Unforgiveness is like a magnet that compels the faults of others to yourself. Drop it like a hot rock, and make a decision to forgive like Christ forgave you.
- Self-Pity. In John 5, When Jesus approached an invalid sitting my the pool of Bethesda, a man who had been in self-pity for 38 years, Jesus said to Him, “Do you even want to get well?” The man replied with the same stale excuse that he’d been giving everyone for years, “Nobody will help me.” Jesus didn’t reply with, “Oh, you poor baby, let me do that for you.” No, He said, “GET UP!” Jesus is not an enabler! Religious Christians want you to think He is! He’s not! And YOU don’t have to be either! Self-pity is not gonna work with Jesus–He will point out your excuses, to you–and then expect you to do something about it, with Him. So make a decision TODAY, to refuse to be in self-pity any longer!
- Sin-Soaked Choices. I was the worst with this, as my pride gave me tons of excuses to sin. “Get drunk! You deserve it! Relax! You work hard! Nobody appreciates you anyway!” Or, “Go ahead and watch that porn, nobody is watching. You’ve not had sex in a while, it’s no big deal.” Or even, “Get them back! They need to get what’s coming to them so they can learn a lesson!” SIN. SOAKED. CHOICES…They grow right out of the pride of our souls. It wasn’t until I finally humbled myself to Christ’s ways of handling my problems that I began to change my choices. I began to allow the Holy Spirit to convict me of the wrong ways of handling things–but I had to want it.
- Arrogance. Please don’t get arrogance confused with confidence. God wants you to be confident! It is in our confidence that we do the most work for Him! SO EXUDE CONFIDENCE AT ALL TIMES! EVEN WHEN YOU ARE WEAK! Try to remember that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). Arrogance, however, is a branch of pride. It says, “I don’t need to change anything. I’m never wrong. People make me like this.” Arrogance looks upon others–both, those who are far from God, and even well-meaning Christians–with a hyper-critical attitude. It’s nasty. When God tries to gently smack this out of your hands, let Him. Getting corrected by God never feels good but it’s supposed to shock us into paying attention to Him.
My friend, God is simply looking for us to want to change! He’s not trying to bribe us to change–we gotta want it! Jesus never helped anyone who didn’t want to be helped! He gladly helped those who came to Him–those who wanted what He had to offer! Which is a brand new life!
What you will soon realize is that after you want to change (and you actually begin to) God teaches you that you can’t change people, and that you can’t make them want to change. No matter how badly you want it for them, they are the ones who have to decide to remove their pride enough, themselves, to ask Jesus to change their hearts, minds, and lives–YOU, CAN’T.
Oh but the devil sure wants you to ruin your life trying to change others, because he knows you can’t. So when you feel yourself getting frustrated, just take a step back, and relax. Let God handle it. Begin to set healthy boundaries with love and respect, and then enforce those boundaries the same. You have to detach yourself from people who don’t want to make healthy changes.
God has taught me in my journey of wanting to change that it’s okay to separate myself from those who don’t want to change. If someone is hitting the crack-pipe, and you’re getting dressed for church, that won’t work. Sure, that’s an extreme example, but for even the most subtle differences, both people in a relationship have to want to change for God–or it will fail.
If it doesn’t fail, it will become extremely one-sided and codependent. God does not approve of selfishness or codependency.
So after you’ve given your absolute all and have done all you possible can do, and still the other person wants nothing to do with making healthy changes for the benefit of your relationship, then it’s okay to separate yourself from them. Let me repeat: IT’S OKAY. And if you don’t, you will destroy your life, value, and self-worth trying to change them.
The religious Christians who are codependent enablers won’t agree with separating yourself from the people who refuse to make healthy changes; but for your own mental, spiritual, and emotional health–yes, it’s allowed. DETACH AND SEPARATE YOURSELF. Let them hit rock-bottom, then they’ll have more of a chance to want to change. Just like Jesus can’t help people who don’t want to be helped, neither can you.
Move along, pray for them diligently, and let them know that if at any point in time they want to change, you’ll be there for them–until then, you won’t. THIS IS POSSIBLE TO DO. Stop loving people to death, and stop ruining your life “standing in the gap” for those who want nothing to do with change.
So today, my friends, know this: YOU CAN CHANGE! YES, YOU! Get your mind off of trying to change people and circumstances, and instead, focus on allowing God to change you! How? By wanting it! You gotta want it! You gotta say, “Lord, I’m ready now. I’m ready for you. Change me!” After that, brace yourself…because nothing will ever be the same!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, you are such a patient, good God. Thank you for helping me change my entire life after I wanted to change. Right now, I lift up all these readers directly to you. I ask that you lovingly convict them of any mindset which might be holding them back from WANTING Jesus to be deeply involved in their lives. REVEAL IT! Help them to change their minds. Help them to WANT to change. You will always give us opportunities to change, but we still gotta decide on our own to “GET UP!” just like the man laying by the pool. Give us that extra nudge to WANT to get up today, so that you can change our entire lives for the better! In Christ’s name, amen.
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