Bad News/Good News
Do you sometimes find it hard to manage your thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, or emotions? Do you persist in a destructive habit even though you know you are hurting yourself or those you love? Do you have patterns or defects you want to correct, but find it difficult to do so? On New Year’s or your birthday, as you reflect on your life, do you think of some areas of your life that you want to improve or even remove over the next year?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are not alone. In fact, if you answered no to all of them, you are either lying or in denial, as none of us is perfect in any, let alone every, area of life. Whether we know it or not, we have all operated in a self-destruct mode at some time in our lives. For some of us it’s been this way most of our adult lives. Perhaps you have tried to do right … tried to make some change. For a while, things may have improved. Then you find yourself slipping back to your old frustrating habits or patterns.
Well, what do you want first, the bad news or the good news? Myself, I like the bad news first, so here it is. You can’t make these kinds of changes by yourself. Unfortunately, you are going to have to rely on someone else. Now for the good news: needing someone else’s help is OK because you couldn’t change by yourself and you don’t have to change by yourself. God is standing by to help you. He is inviting, even imploring you to turn your problems over to Him. He wants you to know these are not person-sized problems … they are God-sized problems. He loves you, wants to save and ultimately sanctify you. He has the power to overcome anything you are and any struggle you can imagine. But more than wanting to, He is so capable. He has the ultimate power and strategy to make your change happen.
Unfortunately, our enemy, Satan, wants to trick us. His lies say we don’t need God, that we really can change on our own, or that if we really need assistance, the world will help us or will do it for us. Our innate nature, which is selfish and me-centered, leans toward trusting only self and doing it all under “our own power.” Both of these strategies leave out God and only lead to a slow and tortuous inner death.
Today, take the beginning steps to overcome any destructive pattern in your life: admit you have the problem; admit you cannot correct the problem by yourself; tell God you are sorry for what you have been doing and that you truly want to change. Then trust Him to help you. Seek guidance about how to incorporate Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Bible into your everyday decision-making. You didn’t get this way overnight, so life will not change overnight. But you can start developing the skills and disciplines to start moving in the right direction. God will be with you throughout the process. Whether you bring God and His supernatural power and wisdom into your change process or you try to do it all alone or with imperfect and ever-failing man-made supports is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Heavenly Father and Ultimate Healer, Sometimes I feel so alone and helpless. Please bring Your Holy Word to my mind at those times. Help me remember that You are always with me, and that with You, all things are possible. Your instruction in the Holy Bible is so powerful … it can actually renew my mind and set me free. Help me to apply Your teachings and trust Your promises, instead of trusting my understanding and self-made instruction book. I pray this in the name of the One You sent who is the Good News, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Psalm 16:8
With Him, all things are possible. Philippians 4:13
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
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