Why is it so hard to change?
Why does it always feel like such a struggle to change our habits … to grow into the person God created us to be? The desire is there … we want to be healthier, strengthen our relationships, develop better spiritual disciplines, or overcome a bad habit. So we make plans, set goals, and determine to chart a new course. But too often, whatever the change we seek, our plans get interrupted. Our commitment fizzles out. Life happens. We get stuck and go back to our old ways.
Part of the reason we don’t experience lasting results is because our efforts to change never reach the level of identity. Realize, we don’t simply change by adjusting what we do – we change by understanding who we are. Our thoughts and core beliefs about ourselves, about others, and about God can either help or hinder our efforts to change. The Bible says, “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2 NLT).
For example, if you see yourself as worthless or as a failure – you will feel defeated every time you stumble or fall when facing an obstacle. Change will then become harder because you feel it is not possible for you to change. But if you see yourself as an accepted, loved, and redeemed child of God – you won’t feel utterly defeated if you stumble. You’ll see obstacles as simply hurdles to overcome. You’ll see mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.
That’s why it is so important to see ourselves as God sees us – to first understand and embrace our life-changing identity in Christ. Healing and transformation can happen when you begin to see yourself through God’s eyes, believing what He says about you. Therefore, if you want to grow and change … you must identify the lies and faulty thoughts you’ve been led to believe and replace them with God’s truth.
“Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth.”
Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes
Do you think … there’s no hope for you to change?
God says … there is always hope for you.
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18).
Do you think … you are a mistake?
God says … you are wonderfully made.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).
Do you think … you are unlovable?
God says … He has everlasting love for you.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Do you think … you are unacceptable?
God says … you are accepted by Him.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7).
Do you think … you can’t be forgiven?
God says … your sins are completely forgiven.
“God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins” (Colossians 2:13 NLT).
Do you think … you’re not strong enough?
God says … He will strengthen you Himself.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Do you think … you can’t have victory over a sinful or bad habit?
God says … You can have victory through Jesus.
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
There might be other lies or faulty thoughts you have that need to be brought into the light and corrected with truth. As an exercise, write them down and then look in God’s Word to discover a passage or a truth that can speak directly to that thought. God wants you to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Over time, as you replace the lies with God’s truth, you will be transformed and healed by His Word.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”