Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Change?

“I often wonder how many people are stuck in their relationships in a cycle of repeating the same things over and over again. They repeat the same misunderstandings. They rehearse and re-rehearse the same arguments. They repeat the same wrongs. Again and again things are not resolved. Night after night they end the day with nothing reconciled; they awake with memories of another bad moment with a friend, spouse, neighbor, co-worker or family member and they march toward the next time when the cycle will be repeated.”

“All their commitments to change have been subverted by the one thing they seem unwilling to do: take the focus off the other and put it on themselves.”

“Change is all about measuring yourself against a standard, being dissatisfied with where you are because you see that you have fallen short of the standard, and seeking the grace to close the gap from where you are to where you need to be.”

“The Bible is God’s ultimate measuring instrument. It is meant to function in each of our lives as a spiritual tape measure. We can place ourselves and our relationships next to it and see if we measure up to God’s standard. God’s Word is one of his sweetest gifts of grace, and open eyes to see it clearly and an open heart to receive it willingly are sure signs of God’s grace as well.”

Source: ‘The Grace of Confession (Part One)’ by Paul Tripp -

Reflecting on your state before God:
Take a look at the fruit of the spirit and the works of the flesh.  List each one from Galatians chapter five and then assess yourself against them.  For each one, write specific examples where you fall short of being spiritual or where you find yourself committing sin.

Galatians 5:16-24  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  (17)  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  (18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  (19)  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  (21)  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  (22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (24)  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.