We all want that, don’t we? We long to improve, to be more successful in our endeavors and strive to be a better person.
“I’ve noticed a change in me,” my friend said
on the phone. “I’m trying so hard to be more gentle, to be more
understanding and patient,” she said.
I grinned with
delight because indeed, I saw that change in her. And I was doubly
impressed with her own way to reach that level of self-awareness and her
admirable resolve to change. And thus, become a better person.
But as she changed, a little guilt made
me squirm a bit. Change is something I fight. It’s a hard road,
unpleasant and uncomfortable. I’d rather stay where I’m at, acting the
way I know and reacting in the way that makes me cozy in my comfort
that’s called “being stuck.” So I went to work to see if I could manage
what my friend had.
I found five ways to move out of the same
old, same old ways of mine.
1. First, know that Satan is cheering
when we remain the same. He whispers the lie: “Choose to be happy.
Choose comfort. Choose what is easy.” And we fall for the world’s
ways and thus, become enemies of God. (James 4:4).
2. Second, God is commanding change,
transformation, steadfast resolve and faith to do what’s right and face
the uncomfortable, the painful and yes, even the unpleasant. (Romans
Third, God wants us to grow, to develop character, to become mature,
complete and lack nothing. (James 1:2)
4. Fourth, He will reward our efforts to
move beyond the “happy” and the “comfortable.” He’ll present the prize
when we persevere in the ugly, in the rude and unattractive. When we
become more like Him and less obedient to our frail whims. (Philippians
Fifth, He wants to use that stronger character we developed during those
less-than-ideal moments. He will use them to His glory, as shining
examples of endurance where we live out His command to love: “Love
rejoices with the truth…Love always protects, always trusts, always
hopes, and always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:7)
often I moved away from persevering. I’ve let my human pride choose what
is best for me—comfort and selfish happiness rather than choose to grow
and mature. Your Word prompts me to leave behind my own flawed
tendencies and follow tender submission to you and allow you to build my
character. In Jesus’s name, amen.
• What circumstances
is God using to build your character?
• What are you
avoiding that’s hard or uncomfortable?
• What changes do
you need to be a better person?
Janet P. Eckles