Faith Column: Change… please… anyone!

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Why is it so difficult to change? I believe we are more creatures of habit than we would admit at times. I know I am and many times find comfort in my routine. I read once that to effectively integrate new habits into our lives it takes at least 90 days. One thing I know is that to change or eliminate a habit I must replace it with another habit. Well this spring I was determined to bring some positive changes into my life so I began to exercise regularly and watched what I ate, and with encouragement and accountability I lost several pounds. Then came vacation and a trip to our international church conference and there went the exercising and eating right.

Our school district here in Moffat County is going through many changes in personnel and policies in order to more positively impact students and the community. Change is difficult to deal with the majority of the time. I liked the results of the positive change I made and really need to refocus and get started again. However, the decision to change is mine and mine alone. Ever wanted to change someone else and felt the frustration associated with the effort? It is impossible to change anyone except ourselves.

The Bible talks about Christians changing into the image of Christ. Paul writes in Romans 8:29 that we are being conformed into the image of Christ. Paul also writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when one becomes a Christian old things are removed and all our life becomes new. Change or transformation in our life is both instantaneous and progressive, a continual work in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet change also involves our willingness to work at change.

Change does not come easily or magically. We are the ones that say yes to change. But I have also learned that it is easier to change when I have support and encouragement.

So what does changing into the image of Christ involve? It starts with a commitment to a deeper spiritual walk through prayer, Bible study and listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our life because he will guide us toward the goal of Christlikeness. One is also imprudent to walk the journey alone. God created mankind in His image. In the image of God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit existing in unity and support of one another. We need one another to effect the change that we are called to.

This coming Monday is Sept. 1, which happens to be Labor Day as well, a day off from work for some, but just another day at work for others, with a little extra pay. As I thought about the Labor Day holiday I thought about getting back to work to affect more positive change in my life. I assure you it will be work and I also encourage you to make a new or renewed commitment to affect positive change in your life. We need to start someday in some way. Let’s determine with the help of the Holy Spirit and those encouragers around us to become more Christlike and impact our workplaces and community. God Bless!

Tim Douglas is the pastor at Ridgeview Church of God in Craig.

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