How Can I Make My Life Better?
“Be made new in the attitude of your minds”
I used to have a very poor attitude. I blamed everyone for my problems, I held grudges, and I constantly talked about my problems and grudges. To top it off, I’d then feel guilty about having problems, grudges, and a poor attitude!
Why was this? Why couldn’t I make my life get better?! It took me a while to finally grasp what the problem was…it was my mindset. I hadn’t yet allowed God to begin renewing it!
God has a great plan for each and every one of us, He doesn’t have favorites–I didn’t know that. I thought I had to be a “good Christian” before my life would get better, when all along all I had to do was get to know Jesus better…more closely, and then allow Him to live through me.
The religious Christians want you to think that unless you do the things they want you to do, you are “less than” in God’s eyes–YOU’RE NOT!
The prostitute and the preacher are both loved by God the same. They both need to have Christ in the proper position in their hearts and minds–the same. And when they do, then their lives will begin to get better!
Just like there are tons of miserable drug dealers, wife-beaters, alcoholics, and addicts–there are also tons of miserable preachers, missionaries, faithful church-goers, and worship leaders.
The only way to change our lives for the better is to begin to show Jesus that we love Him through our words, thoughts, goals, and actions–there is no other permanent, eternal way. This begins as you allow Him to renew the attitude of your mind.
Here are some key guidelines that helped me along the path of renewing my mind, which, in turn, renewed my life, therefore making it so much better! Sure, there are many more, but these five things helped me, and I believe they will help you too:
- READ ABOUT JESUS. I can remember as a kid, picking up a big, leather Bible, and then holding the pages against my thumb as I fanned through it from front to back. I specifically remember thinking to myself, “Wow. That’s a lot to read and know.” Unbeknownst to me at the time, the enemy was already placing doubt and discouragement in my mind. What I came to find out was that my life change would happen by simply taking little bites of God’s Word, day by day. As I did this, I began to understand the personality of Christ. THIS IS THE ENTIRE GOAL OF READING THE BIBLE. Once you know Jesus, how kind, merciful, patient, and powerful He is–then He begins to teach you your value. That value instills a new confidence in you–hence, making your life better. But this all began by having a daily goal of simply reading about Him. So don’t feel intimidated or pressured, just read. The Holy Spirit will do the rest!
- WATCH YOUR MOUTH. This is not natural for me because I’ve always had a foul mouth. When you are in foster homes and children shelters as a little kid–as well as being forced to go from school to school–you not only pick up really bad language, but if you didn’t swear, you were looked upon as weak. So my sailor-mouth was a way to look cool, fit in, and be tough. This habit continued on into my adulthood, but as I got to know Christ more and more, He began to convict me of my foul language. “Matt, that’s not okay. I don’t talk like that and neither should you. You need to start watching your mouth.” So I have. No I’m not perfect by any means when it comes to my language, but I do my best to be conscious of what I say, as well as speak in a manner Christ approves of most of the time.
- PRAY FOR THOSE WHO CAUSE YOU HARM, GENUINELY. This was one of the most difficult things for me to begin. To be perfectly honest with you, I actually began to seek out God in the beginning, deeply, so that He would make my enemies pay…HA! I chuckle at that now, but only because I’ve learned He doesn’t work that way! DUMB! You see, I’m a very competitive, passionate person, so asking God to bless my enemies did not come natural. However, as I got to know Jesus more and more, I started to see just how much I did in my life that He did not approve of–yet, He still blessed me! Because of that, I started to do the same, even though in the beginning it was like eating glass. It’s not difficult any longer. God has taught me that as soon as I begin to feel resentment towards someone to immediately say, “Jesus, please bless them,” or “Please help them to come to know you deeply.” What happens is this frees me, because I release them from what they owe me—I’m not saying that it’s okay, but instead, I’m simply letting that debt go. When I do this, I get to keep my peace and this also unlocks God’s power in their lives because they’ll see Christ doing this through me. Remember: He loves all of us! Not just those who treat us right!
- DON’T TRY TO FIGURE OUT ALL OF THE RELIGIOUS STUFF. I get messages from people who seem to be in utter turmoil about trying to understand every single facet of the Christian religion. When honestly, all you really need to know is that you are a sinner who needs to place your faith in Jesus as your Savior, that He is the Son of God, and that He loves you unconditionally…That’s it. No, you don’t want to stop there, but that’s the kindergarten class. With that knowledge and belief in Christ, you are a Christian and you are going to heaven. But so many people are trying to make sure they do everything exactly right, or that they never mess up–and they want to understand all the hows and whys and what’s gonna happen next. They are driving themselves crazy. They want to be able to know what every single scripture means, RIGHT NOW, and if they don’t they are very upset! To top it off, they want to make you upset about it as well! They have no peace. I used to be like this, and God taught me to just relax and enjoy Jesus. He has given us just enough info to establish belief in Him, as well as be able to understand what He expects from us. The devil wants us confused, Jesus wants us to rest. Rule of thumb: if you can’t figure it out, don’t worry about it. God wants you to simply relax, live by the Spirit, and enjoy your relationship with Him!
- PRAY. If these steps were in order, this would probably be number one. It is vital that you get in the habit of continual “chatter-prayers” all day long. Your prayers should eventually be something that you don’t really even notice–like breathing. Little one-liners or a few sentences, you know, like you talk to people? You talk to God the same. Prayer is just talking. You don’t have to throw in the “thees” and “thous”–you don’t live in the 1600’s–just speak like you always do. God gave you your mouth, so just use it normally. Just talk. Talking builds up any relationship. God hears you at all times–He even knows your thoughts–your unspoken words. So you may as well begin to include Him, and be real. Yes, we should have a time or two each day where we bow our heads in awe and respect to Him–spending a few minutes (or much longer, or much less, there is no law in prayer) in a longer conversation with Him. But overall, you just chit-chat with your Creator from sun up to sun down! Some of my main prayers are, “Help me,” “Thank you,” and “Show me how!”
A prayer for you: God, I want to thank you today for changing my entire life for the better! It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it! Thank you for changing my attitude and renewing my mind through simply seeking Jesus’ will each day, and doing my best to show you that I love you. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who have been struggling to make life changes for a very long time, and just feel stuck, LIFT THEM UP AND OUT! It could be obvious stuff in their lives that you want changed, and it could also be a religious, judgmental soul–BOTH ARE INCORRECT! I’m asking today that you infuse in them a brand new resolve of your grace! PUSH THEM THROUGH! Teach them! Guide them! Mold their minds into Christ’s, gracefully! If you can do this for me, you can do it for anyone. Begin to show them just how much better life truly is, by having the mindset of Jesus. In His name, amen.
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