Growth brings change. I was recently looking at a picture of my grandchildren, taken a little over a year ago, and was shocked and a bit shaken by how much they had changed. In about 13 months they grew significantly, and their growth changed their appearance, and more. Their conversations are different now. The way we spend time together is different. Their interests have matured. Growth changed them. Growth will continue to change them. The physical growth I see is the result of very active and real biological processes going on inside them that I can’t see.
The truth is, if we’re not changing, we’re not growing. Growth and change are partners. They’re buddies. You can’t have one without the other.
It’s sad to see people who have stopped growing. It’s evident because nothing changes in their attitudes, behaviors, habits, work patterns, interactions or otherwise. They continue down the same old paths of life, work and relationships, never challenging themselves or confronting the things that need to change.
It’s interesting that one of the key words of Scripture is “repent.” Jesus used it to describe the right response to His message:
Matthew 4:17 (NIV) From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
The Greek word Jesus used, and that is consistently used in the New Testament for “repent” means “to change attitudes, thoughts and behaviors.” It’s the kind of change that begins on the inside and works its way outward.
I have discovered that lasting change always starts in the heart and mind. If attitudes, values, and ways of thinking are not changed, habits and behaviors will never be permanently changed. It’s only when we see our destructive, dysfunctional, disabling, defeating or divisive ways of thinking that change has a chance. This kind of “seeing” leads to a certain kind of “sorrow” that makes lasting change possible.
2 Corinthians 7:10 (GW) In fact, to be distressed in a godly way causes people to change the way they think and act and leads them to be saved …
The biggest changes in your life are inside you:
- The way you think about God, yourself and others.
- The way you think about your work and responsibilities.
- The way you think about your life and legacy.
- The things you value.
Until your inside changes, external changes will never stick!
What changes are needed in you?