A community of women began a journey about a month ago, seeking balance and beauty in all areas of our lives for the glory of God. There are so many areas we want to improve upon. Of course, in January we are all excited to get back to healthy eating, our exercise regimen, and cleaning out those closets!
However, the motivation wanes and our efforts begin to fade. It’s hard to keep focused on making postitive change, which is why I began this community.
I’ve been writing lessons for this community and decided I would share them here on the blog as well. Many people might need these reminders and inspiration, but not all may want to be part of the community. Although, you are still welcome to join us if you’d like. Click here to request to join our private Facebook Group. Hopefully, I can figure out how to do a community right here on this website for those that prefer not to use Facebook!
We all desire to change for the better. Sometimes, what we want to do, or know we should do, we don’t always do. Our flesh gets in the way. We fail. We get discouraged and we often give up.
I am sharing a series of lessons that start at the core of change. We are taking baby steps. We have specific action steps as well as a new habit to start after each lesson.
Before you begin, one of the things I strongly urge you to have is a buddy! Find a like-minded person with similar goals that you know will help keep you motivated and encouraged. Doing something like this alone can be hard.
Here is the first lesson.
Focus: TRUTH about Sin
Life change always starts with Truth.
“Superficial analysis and superficial focus produces superficial, temporary change.”Chip Ingram
We need to get to the root of change in order to make lasting change! Not self-help or short term strategies. No short-cuts. It starts with INTEGRITY – when your walk and talk say the same story.
Wait, what does integrity have to do with my closets, healthy eating and meal planning you might ask? If we don’t begin at the root of the issue, we will likely fall back into our old habits. I have listened to the series, “Transform” by Chip Ingram, multiple times over the years. You can listen to that series here ( I highly recommend it!)
I asked myself, “Why am I still stuck with old habits and destructive patterns? I thought I would be better by now!” I listened to this series closer this time. I took notes. I listened again. Looked over my notes. Looked up the scripture and I am beginning to understand some of the steps I have skipped.
If we don’t start with honest examination of the sin in our life, our efforts to change our behavior will be futile. It won’t last.
We are going to make some positive changes in our lives, one little step at a time. However, we are going to start at the root. Not just behavior modification, but getting to the heart of the matter.
One area we can become off balance is when we don’t have a proper understanding of sin and grace. We tend to lean towards either trying to earn God’s grace by our works or lean too heavily on His grace and ignore our sin.
Grace is not a license to sin. We are not to presume upon His grace. We are not to ignore or justify sin. We need to be honest about the sin in our life. Sin is revealed by the Holy Spirit when we ask Him to reveal it to us. He is merciful. He does not point out all of our sin at one time. He gently and gradually convicts us of our sin when we truly seek Him. Then, when we become aware of our sin – we are to confess it! Put it off!
Trust that by God’s grace and in His power, He will help you put on the godly attribute or behavior in place of the sinful one.
This is the step I had been missing. I’ve been aiming to change my behavior, without getting to the core of the issue. For example, I may be eating when I am not hungry, because of unresolved anger. I’ve learned that eating can help me feel better for the time being.
When our own power fails us and we become laden with guilt and shame, recognize this as a tactic of the enemy to make us feel stuck. Go back to the Truth. He has set us free from the bondage to sin. He is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He will give the power to turn from sin and walk in the light.
You are not to be burdened with guilt and shame, nor are you to ignore your sin and presume upon HIs grace.
Get honest with God about your sin. Confess it. Accept His grace and forgiveness and then walk in a manner worthy of the calling.
“When we approach the need to change from a heartfelt repentance to honor and please God rather than simply get relief or feel better for ourselves, we are in a position for lasting change to occur.”Chip Ingram
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”Ephesians 2:8-9
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,let us put off the sin that so easily entangles…”Hebrews 12:1
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:9
Listen to the first message in the series, Transformed. You can get the whole series for free right here.
Next, spend quality time examining your life. Don’t compare yourself to someone else that is further behind in their faith walk, but to what God’s word says.
Write down specific sins God brings to your mind, and a godly attitude or action to replace it.
Download this sheet entitled “Put off/Put on”. Add to it as you come across sins God points out to you and then the godly trait to replace it.
Habit to begin each day
Print off the “Put off/ Put on” sheet. You can laminate it to put in the shower, or tape it to your mirror. As you get ready each day look at this sheet. Keep it inside your Bible or journal, or someplace you will see it each day. This will be a reminder for you to put off the sinful behavior and to ask God to help you put on the godly behavior or attitude. Be honest with yourself and with God. Confess your sin, and accept His forgiveness.
This will be the format for the rest of the lessons. I will publish one lesson each week here on the blog. Make sure one habit is established before moving on to the next.
If you have questions or comments about what we will be covering be sure to ask in the comments below or send me an email! If you’d like to join our community, click here, and the request to join.