1 Timothy 4:15 GWT
Daily Bible Reading:
Jeremiah 18-21, Luke 4:14-30, Psalm 102:1-11, Proverbs 14:35-15:2
Why does change take so long? Because:
(1) We are slow learners. How often have you failed and thought, “Not again! I thought I knew better.” The history of Israel illustrates how quickly we forget the lessons God teaches us and revert to old attitudes and patterns of behaviour. That’s why “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1 NIV).
(2) We have a lot to unlearn. We go to a counsellor with a problem that took years to develop and say, “Fix me. I’ve got an hour.” Whoa! Your problems didn’t develop overnight and they won’t disappear overnight. There’s no pill, prayer or principle that will instantly undo the damage of many years. It requires the hard work of removal and replacement. The Bible calls this “Taking off the old self, and putting on the new self” (Ephesians 4:22-23 NIV). We still have old patterns, practices and predispositions that need to be dealt with.
(3) Growth is painful. Every change involves a loss of some kind. We must let go of our old ways in order to experience the new life Christ promised. And we fear these losses, even if our old ways are self-defeating, because, like a worn-out pair of shoes, they are comfortable and familiar.
(4) Habits take time to develop. Your character is the sum total of your habits. And there is only one way to develop the habits of Christ-like character: you must practise them over and over! There are no instant habits. That’s why Paul urged Timothy to “Practise these things. Devote your life to them” (1 Timothy 4:15 GWT).