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  • Steve McFarland


One of the most disconcerting things about our present circumstance is the disruption of our daily routine. We cannot do everything that we use to do or at least the way we use to do them. Things have changed and change is hard on most of us. This got me to thinking about the challenge of personal change. Change that would help us be a better spouse, parent, friend, or disciple of Jesus. So, I have listed five roadblocks to such change.

1) Change is not self-initiated

It takes a calculated, conscious, effort on our part. I love this quote by Max Depree;

“In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what

we need to be by remaining what we are.”

2) We would rather change others or our circumstances than ourselves

I have garnered this wisdom from Charles Shultz’s Peanuts comic strip:

Charlie Brown: “Perhaps you can give me an answer, Linus, what would you do if you thought no one liked you?”

Linus:” I’d try to look at myself objectively and see what I could do to improve. That’s my answer Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown: “I hate that answer.”

3) Fear of the Unknown

Many of us live by the sixteenth-century proverb: “better the devil you know than the devil you don't know”. There can be a false sense of security in the familiar that locks us into thought patterns or behaviors that are unhealthy or even toxic. So, we let them continue because it is what we know.

4) Fear of failure

“The greatest mistake a person can make is to be afraid of making one.”

Elbert Hubbard

Again, a quote from Charlie Brown: “There’s no problem so big I can’t run from it”. Often, we can be paralyzed by the fear that we cannot change and if we try and fail it will be even worse. To overcome this fear, it is imperative to remember two of the Lords promises:

Fear not for I am with you” and “The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth”.

5) Narrow Mindedness

If we are not careful, we can become myopic living as though we have blinders on. Only seeing things for how they affect us. But one of the most common themes in the New Testament is our connectedness to others. To “care one for another” to “prefer others above ourselves”, to “love our neighbors as ourselves”.

Here are a few questions we can prayerfully ask ourselves to facilitate needed change in our lives:

Þ Why am I doing/thinking what I am doing/thinking?

(this includes how I see myself, how I treat others, how I view God)

Þ What do I do to become who I should be?

(identify correct actions and thought processes)

Þ How should I do what I should do to become who I should be?

(this is the practical day to day steps to take to create the change)

If after answering the first question you identify the need for change you may need some help to answer and implement the next two. Find someone you trust who demonstrates success in the area of your challenge. Allow them to prayerfully advise you on the what and the how. Possibly you'll need an accountability partner to help keep you on track till the change becomes the norm. Ultimately trust these words from the apostle Paul in Philippians:

 "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

Pastor Steve

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