Proverbs: How to Have the Courage to Change
What is it in my own life that I need to change or should change?
Change starts by first taking 100 percent responsibility for our thoughts, actions and attitudes. It requires changing our thinking, our attitudes, and our behaviors. This theme of the failure that many of us have – and let’s face it – many of us do – is we fail to take personal responsibilities for our lives.
When you think about it, we grew up in a time where it’s hard for us to take personal responsibility. In fact, our culture does anything but take responsibility. Every group in our culture points to another, saying it’s their fault. We need to have the courage to change, and until we accept the reality of this law of personal responsibility, we cannot fully mature into a spiritual and relational point of being an adult.
Christianity is not a passive religion; it’s an act of faith. The Bible uses words like choose, defend, fight, forgive, love, plant, seek, teach, train, visit, worn, work, and worship. The Bible is full of verbs that demonstrate a very active faith. God’s design for us is to be intentional in taking these verbs and living them out:
· When we’re obedient to know what the scripture teaches about how we’re to treat our spouses, there’s a payoff for that.
· When we’re obedient to be intentional, to take the verb, and we use the verb, and we act on that verb in our lives, when it comes to how we live, with our finances or with our faith or our health, there’s going to be a payoff for that.
· There’s always a positive return on investment for being intentional.
Accepting personal responsibility should cause us to have the courage to change by facing the reality as it is today, resulting in actions that will glorify God and bring benefit to ourselves.
Do you know the condition of the things that are most valuable in your life?
Two verses, Proverbs 27:23 and 24, which are two steps and a warning that we see in these two verses when it comes to change in our lives. Proverbs 27:23-24 says, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks and attend to your herds for riches are not forever nor does a crown endure to all generations.” There is a profound truth in these two little Proverbs worth considering. If we dissect it for a moment, the first part says to be diligent and know the state of your flocks. In other words, the wisdom is to know the condition of what is most valuable in your life.
Change is not going to occur until we stop and assess what needs to be changed, and the wisdom here is to know the condition of your flocks.
Many people are careless with what is most valuable in their lives. For example:
· Someone who knows being involved with pornography will destroy their marriage yet becomes involved in pornography.
· Someone realizes being abusive to another destroys relationships (at a minimum), and yet, they are abusive.
· Or a person who knows wasting time leads to ultimate failure but still chooses to waste time.
· How many of us, when it comes to our health, know what we should do, but we don’t do it anyway.
Why? We become careless. We are not diligent to know the state of our flocks.
As you read this, take a self-assessment for your own benefit of ten vital areas of your life and determine if you are weaker or stronger than you were a year ago. There are really more than ten, but these are the ones I’d like to focus on. If you answer the questions honestly, you’ll see the area of your life that is weaker or stronger than it was because, as I mentioned in Part 1 of this two-part series: the law of change is nothing stays the same.
1. Is your family life weaker or stronger today than it was a year ago?
2. What about the state of your marriage? If you’re not married, consider the close relationships that you have.
3. Where are you today as you look at your view of God, your relationship with Christ, your relationship with God. Is it something that is stronger than it was a year ago, or is it weaker?
4. How about your thinking and your attitude? Is your attitude in life either up or down, or your thinking about the things in your life weaker or stronger than a year ago?
5. How you view your work? Do you see yourself being stronger or weaker as an employee carrying out what God has given you to do?
6. What about your personal life? When you look inside your own life, would you say your personal life is stronger or weaker?
7. How about friendships?
8. Now consider your health. There is the ongoing tendency to grow weaker with years, especially if you don’t evaluate it. Do you think your health is weaker today or is it stronger than a year ago?
9. Are your finances in better shape? It doesn’t necessarily mean you have more, but do you have a better handle on it than you did a year ago?
10. What is the condition of your property, the stuff that you own? Do you take care of the things the Lord has given you?
Now, these ten things are all tied together, and it’s important to stop from time-to-time and ask the question, how am I doing in these important areas of my life? And then from an Intentional Living perspective, ask the question of what one thing could I do in the next 30 days that would make the biggest difference in this area of my life?
Will you do that today?
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