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Have you ever had a day so bad that you wished you were someone else? Many of us may have felt this way after going through a situation that left us feeling discouraged and disheartened. Perhaps we made so many wrong choices that we began to compare ourselves to someone else who seemed never to make any mistakes, and we wished we were more like them. Changing what we don’t like about ourselves is possible, but not through our own self-efforts.
When we identify something about ourselves we want to change, trying to enact that change through our own efforts is like fighting the forces of inertia. By ourselves, we can quickly become discouraged and give up, but asking God for His help brings real results. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). Any real and lasting change requires a shift in thinking, first. God’s will for us is to be able to change for the better; trusting Him in this area allows Him to begin the process.
If we’re struggling with selfishness, anger, bitterness, pride, or some other negative emotion that’s affecting our relationships, we don’t have to accept those qualities as simply part of who we are. God wants better things for us, and He gives us the power to change into a brand new person. Acknowledging that we need Jesus Christ in our lives, and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, gives us a new start. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT).
Once we accept Jesus, studying God’s Word reveals increasingly deeper levels of knowledge that help us embrace the transformation taking place in us. As new creations in Christ, learning how to think differently is a gradual process. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV). As we learn a new mindset that agrees with what God says, our attitude improves, and people begin noticing the positive changes in our behavior.
Everyone makes mistakes, but we don’t have to get stuck on them by dwelling in the past. “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18, 19). We don’t have to be stranded in the wilderness of failed relationships, and our past behavior no longer has to define us. We can move forward in life and accept the joyful, happy relationships God sends us.
The changes God wants for us are like a breath of fresh air, and they empower us to succeed. Right-living starts with right-believing, and when we trust God to change us, it becomes obvious that He is the one working in us. “This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23). The power comes from Him.
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