Why Change?

Is there something about your life that you know you need to change?  I’m not talking about changing your job or changing the car you drive or anything like that.  I’m talking about the need for change inside you; something about your heart, your actions, or your behaviors.  Maybe it’s an unhealthy habit you need to stop, or an attitude that needs to change.  Perhaps there’s something you know you should be doing, but for some reason you’re not doing it.  Whether it’s a sin of commission or a sin of omission, there’s something in your life that you know needs adjustment.

Now I need to clarify at the outset that we don’t change ourselves.  Our role is to simply surrender to the work of Christ in us as He changes us.  In this post as I talk about changing, please understand that I am referring to the aspect of surrender to Christ’s lordship and His work of redemption in us, not to some human effort to effect change from within.  This post is not addressing that aspect of change; however, Joe published a post specifically addressing this last week (click here).   The question I want to pose in this post is this:  What will be your motivation to change?

Why will you change?  Will it be to improve your life, make you happier, or less stressed out?  That’s the message of our culture, and far too often it is also the message of today’s church as well.  Today we hear a lot about living your best life now and how we can be a better person, but at the end of the day, isn’t this really just self-centered motivation?  Should my fundamental reason for changing be to just improve my life or be better?

What about changing in order to serve others?  Should my motivation to change be so that I would be a better father so that my sons would be better equipped for life?  Should my motivation to change be so that I am a better witness to a lost world?  One of the cornerstones of Biblical Christianity is an “others-centeredness”, so this motivation seems to be moving in the right direction.  But even this falls short of what the Bible provides as our primary motivation.

As we’ve talked about so often, our primary purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  This means that the reason God created us, the very reason for our existence is to worship and exalt our Creator with our lives (2 Cor. 10:31, Is 43:7).  Every action we undertake, every attitude we exhibit, every decision we make, and every relationship in which we participate is an opportunity to display to goodness and glory of our great God.  So as we talk about a motivation for change, we must elevate our focus from improving ourselves and serving others to the ultimate motivation of glorifying God.

So, what will keep us surrendered to Christ’s work of redemption as He changes us from the inside out?  Not a self-oriented desire to be a better person or even an others-driven desire to serve people, but instead it will be a heart-driven passion to see Christ glorified in our lives.  It is knowing that as I allow Him to change me from being Ken-like to being more Christ-like, I will be able to glorify, worship, exalt, and magnify Jesus more with my life.

What about you?  Is this your fundamental motivation for change?  If not, what is?

If you want this to be your fundamental motivation, here are a couple of recommendations:

1. Pray – Ask the Lord to adjust your motivations.  Ask the Lord to give you a greater passion for His glory.  Ask Him to redirect the focus of your affections from yourself and those around you to Him.  Prayer works, and God loves to answer these kinds of prayers.

2. Read the Bible – Don’t read the Bible just to check off a “to-do list”.  Read it to encounter the living God.  As you saturate your life with His Word, you will come face to face with the nature of God.  As you get to know Him as He has divinely revealed Himself in His Word, a natural consequence will be that your love for Him and your passion for His glory will grow.

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One thought on “Why Change?

  1. Thinking about the motivations of my heart. Our small group looked at this a couple weeks ago in our study of Philippians. The commentator said in 3:7-8 the word “count” is used and in Greek 2 different words are used but they mean to evaluate or assess. He said “yet, few people sit down to weigh seriously the values that control their decisions and directions.” We had to then decide how we would go about examining our life, values, directing to our heart motives. I started to think how do I go about really looking deep into why I do differernt things I do. Ouch! Came up with a list of questions, one leading to the next as I thought about how to examine my heart.

    Does it align with God’s word?
    Will it glorify Him?
    What is my initial reason?
    How did I come to the conclusion to think or believe it?
    Is He asking me personally to do something or is it meant for someone else?
    What is my heart attitude behind the “reasoning” for me to do or think or believe something?
    Is there something in it for me? (Yowee!) Is that my real motivation? Am I just rationalizing?
    Am I indifferent, prideful, lax, or legalistic in my attitude toward this area?

    It is hard to look deep into my heart at impurities, but He has been very gracious to show me some things privately in prayer with Him or in a safe place with another forgiving, loving sister or brother in Christ. How gracious and merciful of God to do this and show me and give me an opportunity to stop before I really humiliate myself and tarnish His testimony in my life! Had those moments before-want to avoid that desperately!

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