How exactly do we change our ways? It has been said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or 21 days to break an old habit. Either way, it takes time to change your ways. If our ways are wrong, it takes time, focus and an honest determination on our part to change what we do or how we act, whether for the positive or negative.
In making a change, first we must examine what it is that needs changing. Is it our hair color, our clothing style, our vehicle, our choice in music, an addictive drug, a bad influence in our life such as a person or a place? It could be one or many of those things and so many more than that. Maybe it’s our political view, or our world outlook, or our financial behavior. Examining your life is the first step in making changes to it.
Upon taking a closer look are there things in your life that need to be modified, changed, added or deleted? Most likely the answer is yes. For some people the answer is simply a desire to pray more, or drive their car less, or eat more fiber. Modest to liberal change in your life is something that scares a lot of people, especially those who are happy where they are, especially for those who think they have it all together.
So let’s start with a simple yet complex question (if that sounds like an oxymoron then good). What would your life look like if your #1 priority was Matthew 22:36-40?
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
If you set into your day with the goal and primary focus of loving God first and then your neighbor as yourself, would there be a noticeable difference in your day?
Imagine that you hold no grudges, no contempt for another human being. Imagine that you look for only the good in others and look past the bad, learning to forgive inadequacies and failures. Imagine for just one moment that you could be friends with every single person you came into contact with for the rest of your life. Seems a tad absurd I know but why? Why does it have to be?
If you set out to be the best you can be to every person you came in contact with every single day, you might die from exhaustion, right? Our society tells us we should feel sorry for ourselves for not having everything we want. We are taught at a young age by marketing that not having it all is a failure. So we must all be failures by that bar, we have all fallen short…hmmm, where have I heard that before?
If we look closely at our lives in light of the kingdom, we have also failed, we will never measure up; we could never deserve anything better than the failure that this world has to offer us. But unlike the trappings of this world, we have a way out of this failed place, this failed life and His name is Jesus. There is nothing, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, that this world can offer you to fix your failures or shortcomings. By the standards of this world, you will always fall short and will never “have it all”.
Bringing this back around to where we started, we have such short sighted vision regarding eternity that we hurt those closest to us because of our greed for the things of this earth. When we live in light of this world, we serve another master and its name is materialization. The enemy is all too happy to help you serve that multi-headed monster.
If you live your life in light of eternity, your life will take on a whole new meaning, one filled with telling others about what you know, about the love you have inside.
Think of it this way, when you get a new pair of shoes or a new car, you can’t wait to show it off. You even go out of your way to tell your friends and even people you don’t know about what’s new, just in case they didn’t notice. When Christ is at the center of your life you should do exactly the same thing, you should be so excited to tell others about what’s new in your life, from an eternal perspective.
This is the great commission, go and make disciples of all nations… (Matthew 28:19). He didn’t commission us to go and make strangers. He didn’t command us to go and make enemies. He didn’t command to go and blow bubbles!!! We have been called to GO and MAKE disciples.
1. a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower
1. a group of persons authoritatively charged with particular functions
2. the condition of being placed under special authoritative responsibility or charge.
We have been charged with a special responsibility to go (GET OUT THERE) and tell (SCREAM IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS).
We need more Jesus freaks…count me in.
My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.