In this new blog post you will find 11 steps that can be taken to change your behavior. What should you expect from someone who says they are changed and how can you change your own way of life? Here’s a great read for those who are not sure how to deal with changes and for those looking for a changed relationship.
Can a person really change?
Many times I receive an email from a single adult sharing their experience about meeting another person. The person will share how the person that they just met made mistakes in their past but are now a changed person. However, what follows turns out to be in reality a questioning of whether or not the person really changed.
A person can change. Spiritually each of us is changed by God’s Spirit the moment that we accept Christ. 2Cor. 5:17 says ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ Instantly and totally our spirits are changed.
Does this change apply to every part of a person? That’s a big question but one that I suggest needs to be considered.
I recently learned of an evangelist whose tastes were changed instantly along with his act of salvation. That is what he shared. God is capable of doing anything and certainly does not need my approval to do so. However, my experience has not shown that this occurs very often.
There are 2 areas that come to mind when I think of ‘change’ as applies to the lives of single adults:
1. The first one is when one meets someone as I described in the first paragraph. Should one take another person’s comments that they are changed from radical past choices or behaviors? I strongly suggest that one must not take it at face value. Anyone that comes out of a history of poor choices must understand that they need to validate their change(s). They ought to be not only willing, but also initiate ways to demonstrate confirmation of the positive changes.
- a. If the person is changed in some ways, but has some significant areas that are not changed, affirm the person but proceed with great caution when considering any deeper relationship than a friendship.
- b. Many single adults get caught up in the desire for a relationship to develop that they rush to overlook some significant red flags.
- c. I would encourage ample time be allowed to demonstrate and affirm positive changes before considering initiating a relationship. This amount of time needs to be at least 6 months and likely a year or more.
- d. Poor choices can be forgiven but they have their consequences. The need for time and affirmation of future choices I believe is one of the consequences that comes with making past poor choices.
- e. Our instant society wants to ‘microwave’ the relationship into existence. This is one area that I have found contributes too often to a future divorce.
- f. It is not one’s personality, brain, nor emotions that are the driving force behind our choices. Unless one discovers what the force was behind the poor choice and processes it to a healthy conclusion, they are very likely to repeat it.
2. Making changes in their own life is another significant area for singles. It is a well-known fact that most of us do not like change, even when we know that it will be good for us. This applies to us in the spiritual, physical, or psychological aspects of our lives. The way that God designed us does not allow for us to ‘think’ our way to change. The road to good intentions will never be enough to sustain a change to its conclusion. Then how can one make a change? Here are the steps that I suggest to making a real change:
- a. Develop an awareness for the need for change.
- b. Embrace the need fully and really want the change to happen.
- c. Write down a description of what you wish to change.
- d. Write down what difference it will make in your life WHEN this change has taken place.
- e. Meditate on how you will feel AFTER the change has been made.
- f. Set out daily steps to take you toward your goal. There must be at least 28 days of consecutive action taken toward the change. Studies in psychology have proven that it takes at least this long before one’s self-image ‘believes’ that this is what you really want.
- g. Recite to yourself as many times as you can each morning and again each night what you are going to become with the change.
- h. Develop a support team of friends/family to support and encourage you toward this goal.
- i. Set up a reward system for achieving the change.
- j. If you will ask God to empower you, sustain the steps for at least 28 consecutive days. You will have grown a new belief from a seed into reality. New beliefs are the fuel for real changes.
- k. Welcome your new change.
Try it and see for yourself. God made a wonderful creation when He designed us. I want you to gain a better understanding of the power we have in His creation, and in His Spirit.
Change? Yes, a person can change and must be given good opportunity to make good changes. This goes beyond a person just saying that they have changed and showing a few signs that something has happened within them. It means demonstrating over a reasonable period of time that real change has taken place.
Life is all about changes. God is the only constant that we can count upon to not change. Embrace changes in a healthy way and they will pay big dividends in future choices.
Dr. Jim Rives