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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

­ “Wow, I have a lot to work on”

Lately, I have been doing a lot of self-reflecting and realizing that there are a lot of qualities and actions of myself that I want to improve; things that the Bible specifically points out as characteristics of followers of Him that I don’t feel I am living out to the best of my ability. Examples are: I want to be less controlling and I want to love others better. After thinking about all that I wanted to improve and even going forth and making a list, I felt a little overwhelmed, scared and even a little defeated. “There is no way I can tackle all of these,” I thought.

What are my motivations? Why do I want to improve?

As Christians, we are called to love and serve God, to be a His light here on Earth. We are called to not seek after earthly things, but those that are eternal. Taking time to reflect and figuring out how we can improve are ways of living out these commands, a way of pursuing our love for God by doing better for Him.

One step at a time

Often times, when things get overwhelming, what is our natural reaction? To quit.

Often people quit trying to serve God, to change their lives and habits for Him, because they are overwhelmed by the sacrifices it requires. But ask yourself this: “What is one thing I can focus on improving this week, just one thing?” If you can do that, focus on one thing for just one week, you can overcome the overwhelmed feelings. And after the end of the week if you feel like you need more time with the improvement, then work on it for another week, or pick something new to work on. Remember, you aren’t looking for perfection, just improvement.

Another reaction may be, “I can’t change, this is just who I am.” Although, by saying this, we are actually denying God’s power to create change in us. I have been guilty of this many times. It is important to remember just how great God’s power is – that we can do anything with His strength.

Although results may not show right away, be patient. The work you are putting in to be better at serving God is worth it. Remember your motivations and why this is so important.

You can change with God’s help. One step at a time, these changes can become a reality.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us – Philippians 4:13

Tackling the challenge

What is the best way to tackle self-improvement? Use God’s word to guide you – read it, meditate on it, write it everywhere and even memorize verses. That way, when your bad habit or struggle comes up again, you can remind yourself of God’s word; this will help strengthen you.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. – Joshua 1:8

Make a list and pick something to work on each week. Have a verse tied to what you are working on, and repeat it to yourself multiple times a day. Diligently be aware of what you want to change, and take action to change it.

Lord, we understand that knowing what changes we need to make is not enough. We understand that we need to take action to make the changes, and Your word and strength are the best sources of guidance for us. Help us to rely on You when we are trying to make changes, to remember that our motivation is to better serve You every day of our lives.

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