How can I really change?



                               

A simple response to this question would be to say that you can’t change your life, at least not in any fundamental way. You can change the way you look, and, through force of will, you can even change some of your thoughts and actions. But your essential nature-your soul-is impervious to human efforts to change. Only God can do this, because He created us, and He is the only One who exists above and beyond our human nature.

Many people live their lives under the assumption that if they are basically good, moral people, God will be pleased with their lives and reward them accordingly. Other people believe that if they discipline themselves to perform the correct religious rituals that they will earn favor with God. Still others believe that the way to reach God is through the acquisition of knowledge. The more they know, the better they rate in the eyes of God. The problem with each of these attitudes, from the perspective of Christianity, is they all miss the point entirely. Changing your life is not accomplished by moral behavior, sheer force of will or intellectual pursuits. No matter how good, strong or intelligent we think we are, the fact remains that we are still in such a desperate, wretched condition that nothing we do can get us out of it. The best we can do still falls hopelessly short of God’s perfect standard. As the prophet Isaiah says, all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Rather than us trying to reach up to God’s standard, Christianity is all about God reaching down and pulling us up out of the muck and onto solid ground. Only then can we tap into His power to change our lives and our very nature.

This change is made possible through Jesus Christ, who is God in human form. In our natural state, the bad things we do separate us from God, because God is holy and no one who is less than perfect can survive in His perfect presence. We would be overwhelmed and crushed by His greatness. But Jesus made a way for us to go back to God by paying the penalty for the mistakes we make. He took the blame for us so that we might be set free. He did this by dying on the cross. Because of this selfless act, we can now have a close, loving relationship with God, exactly how He originally intended things to be.

But Jesus’ death did not only deal with the eternal consequences of our actions, it also opened the way for God to manifest His power in our lives on a daily basis. This means that whatever problems or issues you are struggling with right now, you can ask God to help you overcome them. And whatever aspect of your life you would like to change, God can make it happen. All that is required is that you admit you have made mistakes, accept the forgiveness that God offers through Jesus and invite Him to be the center of your life.

–Heather

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