How do you feel about change? Not the money kind, but the life kind. Some people have to have it; others hate it. Like we talked about at the Porch on Tuesday, the Christian life is all about change, where we become more like Jesus as God does His work in our lives and we faithfully follow Him. That change happens through being in a relationship with God, having new thinking based on God’s Word, and being in community with other Christians who help each other grow.
Change can be tricky. Sometimes you make a lot of progress, and other times it can feel like one step forward, two steps back. And other times, it’s hard to even know what even needs to be changed. A little introspection would do you well – here are seven areas to consider in your life that might need to change for you to grow in your faith. These are all areas that are incredibly influential in your life, either positively or negatively!
I’m not going to tell you what to think or what you specifically need to change – that’s between you, God, and your community. But I’d like to give you a few questions to ask yourself and each other, and some verses for you to look up. Do what we talked about on Tuesday: ask God to give you the right thinking in each of these areas based on the Bible, and get your community’s feedback too.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Questions: What do you want more than anything else? Is God the most important thing to you? Do your priorities reflect God’s priorities? What desires do you most actively try to satisfy? Do your actions match your stated priorities? What do you think would make you the happiest?
Verses: Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm 119:92-93, Psalm 62:5-8, Psalm 19:7-14, Matthew 6:33
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Questions: Is your thought life pure? Do you fantasize about anything? Are you consumed by worldly things? What kinds of thoughts most easily and most often come to your mind?
Verses: Colossians 3:2, Romans 12:2, Romans 8:5-6, Matthew 5:28, Psalm 119:9
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Questions: Are you stewarding money wisely or just spending it? Are you anxious about money? Do you want to get rich? Do you think having more money would make you happier?
Verses: Matthew 6:24, 1 Timothy 6:6-10, Proverbs 23:4-5, Hebrews 13:5, Ecclesiastes 5:10
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Questions: Are you wasting your time or investing it wisely? Does your down time consistently lead you to sin? Do you struggle with laziness? Do you feel aimless, or are you on mission?
Verses: Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 24:30-34, James 1:22, James 4:17, Colossians 3:17
The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26)
Questions: Are your friends wise or foolish by God’s definition? Are you dating in a godly way? Do you influence your friends positively, and do they do the same for you? Are you making an impact for Christ on those around you?
Verses: Proverbs 13:20, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 27:17, 2 Timothy 2:22
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)
Questions: Who do you want to be like? Who are your heroes? Who do you respect?
Verses: 1 Peter 2:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, 1 Peter 3:15
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:4)
Questions: What do you think is funny? Is your sense of humor clean or crude? What are you entertained by? Would you be ashamed of anyone finding out what you laugh at? Is what you watch / listen to clean?
Verses: Psalm 101:2-3, Isaiah 5:20, Proverbs 17:22, Ephesians 5:11
Don’t get overwhelmed – you can’t change all of these areas at once. It’s a process! And really, you aren’t even the one who can change your heart – that’s God’s job. If you are a Christian, God is at work in you, and He is going to keep working on you for your good. Your job is to love and obey Him.
Where do you most need God’s help to change?