Are you serious about changing?

Tim Chester

What stops you from changing?  Whom or what do you blame for your sin?  Do you ever hear yourself thinking or saying one of the following?

  • They provoke me.
  • If they’d only help me or love me more.
  • I take after my family.
  • It’s the way I am.
  • People don’t understand what it’s like for me.
  • It’s my background.
  • It’s so unfair.
  • Anyone would react the way I do.

Whom or what do you blame for your behavior or emotions?  Is there someone else who feels guilty for your behavior or emotions in this area?  This may be because you’ve found ways of shifting the blame onto them.

How do you minimize your sin?  Do you ever hear yourself thinking or saying one of the following?

  • It’s not that bad.
  • It’s only a small thing.
  • What about what others do?
  • Overall I’m not too bad.
  • Look at the good things I’ve done.
  • Everyone else does it.
  • It seemed the best thing to do.

How do you minimize and excuse your behavior or emotions?  How do you avoid taking responsibility?

  • Do you ever say “but”?  What comes after the word “but”?
  • Do you ever say “if only”?  What comes after the words “if only”?

Do you really want to change?  Do you just want to avoid the consequences of your sin or the shame of your sin?  Think about whether any of the following statements are true:

  • You want change, but without having to break a sweat.
  • You want it because you are supposed to want it.
  • You want it, but not at the cost of saying no forever.
  • You want it—sometimes.
  • You want it—tomorrow.
  • You want it, but you’re waiting for God to remove your craving first.
  • You want it simply because it will make life easier.

Does your repentance have the characteristics described in 2 Corinthians 7:8-13?

  • Are you serious about holiness and eager to change?
  • Are you angry about your sin and alarmed about where it might lead?
  • Do you have a renewed longing for God and a concern for holiness?
  • Are you ready to put things right where you have wronged others?

Have you told someone?

  • Have you told someone to hold you accountable in your struggle?  If not, then either you fear exposure more than you desire God or you still want to keep open the option to sin?
  • Have you said, “I’ll tell someone if I ever do it again”?  This is a stalling tactic.  Get serious about change by telling someone.

 

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