So you want to change.
“Yes, I’d like to, but I’m not sure that it’s possible. I keep trying, but then find myself going back to my old ways again and again.”
You are a Christian?
“Yes. I believe that Christ died for my sins and rose again from the dead.”
Well, then, there’s every reason for you to expect to be able to change. Jesus is deeply concerned about helping believers change. Listen to this:
. . . as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves must become holy in all of your behavior
1 Peter 1:15
He is holy—set apart from sin and to righteousness—and wants you to be like Himself. He asks a believer to do nothing that He doesn’t supply the wisdom and the ability to do. He will help you. Listen to Philippians 2:13
. . . Since it is God Who is producing in you both the willingness and the ability to do the things that please Him.
If you truly desire to change in order to please Him, He’s already beginning to fulfill the first promise in that verse.
“It would be great, but I don’t see how. I try not to sin, but fall into sin anyway.”
Let’s consider some things that may make a difference.
“OK. Go ahead. I can’t seem to break my old habits.”
You recognize that you have old habits? Good. We’ll get into what they are in time. For right now, let’s examine how you are trying to deal with them. Did I hear you say that you are trying to “break” them?
Well, change is a two-factored process. You can’t bring it about by merely breaking habits. In Ephesians and Colossians, Paul says that you must not only “put off” the old manner of life (“old man” or habits), but that you must at the same time “put on” a new set of godly patterns.
“Oh! I didn’t realize that.”
Well, we’ll begin there, then. You can’t break habits; you must replace them-with their biblical alternatives. If you truly, from the heart, desire to live in ways that honor Christ you can do it, because the Spirit will help you more and more to put off and put on those things that He tells you in His Word that you must change. Are you certain that you want to change in order to please Jesus?
Good. Then, let’s begin . . .
For more on Change, check out these two books:
1) How to Help People Change
2) Sanctification and Counseling