“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
See Romans 12:2
One of the most difficult things to do in life is to face the truth about yourself. For years I didn’t want to do this, but until I did, I would never be able to enjoy my life on the level that God had planned for me. Yes, I have a ministry now, I have stories to tell because I lived them, and people look to me for advice during difficult circumstances.
But I gotta tell you, there’d be no way I’d be in this position if I never faced the truth about my own unacceptable behaviors and attitudes.
I grew up in an extremely unstable atmosphere. Addiction, adultery, and divorce began ruining my life as a little child. I was in and out of foster homes and children shelters, and when one of my parents did have custody of me, we moved a lot. That hurt. The close friends I made at each school or “home,” I always had to say good-bye to. These uncontrollable situations caused tremendous fear and anxiety in my mind as a boy.
Fast forward to adulthood, and because of my unstable upbringing I had become a functioning alcoholic, people-pleaser, with a short fuse. To top it off, workaholism set in as I was overly-driven to show others that I do matter. Finally, codependency took over my life. Because of being ripped away from loved ones, friends, and family so often when I was young, I developed a terrible habit of allowing unacceptable behavior from other people just to keep them happy.
I constantly put up with being treated poorly, used even, because I was afraid of others leaving me alone, not accepting me, or hurting me.
This led to extreme frustration as I kept trying to change people—but I couldn’t. Soon enough, my codependency turned into extreme alcohol dependency. “Heck, if I can’t change people or my circumstances, I’m just gonna change how I feel.” The bottle did this splendidly. It numbed my pain. It shoved my feelings down deep into a dark hole, and then covered them up with a buzz.
I HAD TO CHANGE MY CHOICES. God had more for me, yet there was no way I could change my choices, until I finally admitted that I needed to change my choices. So at last, I decided to allow Christ to begin living through me. This changed everything.
What ensued was a brand new peace, comfort, confidence, and a sound mind growing inside me, and sprouting out of me! The difficult people who used me and treated me badly, all of my uncontrollable situations, they no longer dictated my joy!
The funny thing is, hardly any of those people or circumstances changed, but instead I continued to change by letting Jesus help me make my choices each day. And little by little, I began to develop new skills (taught to me by the Holy Spirit) which I needed to make my life into something beautiful; something actually enjoyable—something that God had planned for me all along!
And this all began with me admitting that I didn’t know how to handle a thing, on my own. I needed to change my entire mindset through God’s Spirit guiding me each day. That was the truth I had to face about myself.
So today, my friends, know this: If you will face the truth about yourself God will completely change your life! What is it exactly that God wants to change? Is it an addiction? Is it you trying to constantly fix someone else who doesn’t even want to be fixed? Is it a self-righteous, hyper-critical, graceless mindset? Is it you always giving in to your flesh’s cravings? Whatever it is, just give it to God today, and His Spirit will hand you back something so much better.
A prayer for you: Good morning Lord, thank you for another day! What an honor it is to be able to have life! Thank you! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this who want to change. For those who need the strength to face the truth about themselves so that you can fully change their lives through your Spirit, help them. You see that they want it, now give it to them as they do this while resting in your grace! With Christ, we can do all things, INCLUDING admitting what needs to be changed in our lives. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!