Faith Column: Turning over a new leaf
January 9, 2014
We are already over a week into this New Year of 2014 and ,if you are like me, I am already behind in my New Year resolution. Well, let me explain. No, no one can explain. What I mean is I did not make a New Year's resolution except: to do better in some areas of my life in 2014. Okay, I know you're thinking that's pretty vague and that I am setting myself up for failure. That may be somewhat true. However I read somewhere that for a true lifestyle change to occur one must develop a habit which takes about 90 days. So I have 80 more days to focus on the changes I desire in my life.
However, I have made a great discovery! I will not change and cannot bring myself toward any change without changing my thinking. See no matter how much I want something there has to be a mind change in order to accomplish any change. I read somewhere that an athlete repeats the same motion of their sport over and over and over until it becomes second nature for their body to move and react in the desired manner. Their body does not become conditioned in such a way without their conscience decision and passion to make it happen.
In Romans 12:1-2, Paul shares the secret to change. "Christian brothers, I ask you from my heart to give your bodies to God because of His loving-kindness to us. Let your bodies be a living and holy gift given to God. He is pleased with this kind of gift. This is the true worship that you should give Him. Do not act like the sinful people of the world. Let God change your life. First of all, let Him give you a new mind. Then you will know what God wants you to do. And the things you do will be good and pleasing and perfect" (NLV).
You have probably heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. That describes all of us from time to time. We become comfortable in a routine and then realize we are not accomplishing the things God desires or we desire in our life. Every behavior is tied to a belief. If as Christians we believe in the sovereignty and power of God over our lives it makes since that as Paul urges, we allow God to change our minds, our way of thinking that is not getting the results we or God desire.
The idiom "turn over a new leaf" is defined as to reform and begin again, to begin behaving in a different or better way. I believe every person desires change, wants change, hopes for change in their life, but until we allow God to change our thinking change will be very difficult and for some impossible. My prayer for you and myself is that we allow God to "give us a new mind," change our thinking and so we will be able to do better in 2014 in areas we know need improving. God Bless!
Tim Douglas is pastor at Ridgeview Church of God in Craig. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.