6 Steps to Starting a Positive Change: A Christian Perspective
Do You Crave a Change?
Do you feel unsettled? Do you feel like you are not yet in the place where God wants you to be? I believe that God puts an adventurous desire within our souls to break out from the ordinary and embrace a faith-filled journey toward Christ. Do you feel that pull?
Change is a scary word. Change means leaving the comfortable for the unknown. Even if the current situation is miserable, many find it hard to move forward, choosing to remain and endure in a place they were never supposed to inhabit. The fear of the unknown paralyzes.
Do you crave a change?
But what if the unknown was greater than you have ever imagined? What if God’s plan for your life is deep and fulfilling—and that adventure awaits just beyond the next step? If you decide it’s worth the risk, keep reading. In the next few minutes, we will talk about how to kick-start the change you need to chase after God’s best wishes for you.
1. Get a New Lens
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- Proverbs 3:6 ESV
Step one is to identify what needs to be changed. We will call this the problem. The problem can be a bad thing, a good thing, or indifferent. The reason it is a problem is because it stands between where you are and where God wants you to be. In order to have a clear view of what we need to change, we must get a better lens.
Just like a photographer uses the right zoom lens to capture the perfect close-up image, we must use the right lens when locating the problems that keep us from moving forward. By nature, we use the lens of our personal wisdom and experience. This gives us a flawed view because our wisdom is limited and our experiences are me-centric. We need a perspective that sees things as they really are without the filter of our personal bias. We need God’s perspective.
Spend some time in prayer right now and ask God to show you His view of your situations and what needs to change in order for you to accomplish His plan.
2. Own It
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
- Romans 12:3 ESV
Having a new perspective will give us a much better view of our circumstance. It is easy, however, to miss our part of the problem. Our problems might be caused by external influences or by internal temptations, but either way we must own our piece of the responsibility. Even if our part is extremely small, grab ownership of it.
It is impossible to change someone else when they do not want to be part of the process. The only person you have real control over is yourself. When you own your part of the problem, you can take positive steps toward making a change.
Analyze what stands between you and God’s plan for you. What part do you own?
3. Define the Line
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
- Psalm 37:5 ESV
What is the finish line? How will you know if the change that you seek has been successful? Before making a move, spend some time to define where you are going. Making a change without a plan creates the opportunity to move in the completely wrong direction.
Giving yourself a clear finish line will do two things on your behalf. One, it will give you hope when things seem dark. Every change comes with opposition, especially a change that will bring you closer to God’s plan. Knowing the goal will provide a bright light as you move closer to what God has for you. Second, a clear finish line will allow you to look past the momentary troubles and see the greatness of the reward. It becomes easier to rise above the hardships when you can clearly see where you are going.
Define where you believe God is moving you. What does it look like when you cross the finish
4. Make a Map
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
- Luke 14:28 ESV
The world is full of dreamers and drones. Dreamers have a big vision but fail to plan and never get there. Drones work really hard, but don’t have a definite destination and never really go very far. In order to see substantial change, you need the best of both. Once you have a God-sized dream, you must have a substantive plan to get you to that goal.
Think through all of the things that must happen for you to get to your goal. Once you have the basic step, then outline how you can accomplish each. If you know where you are going and how to get there, the journey becomes much easier. Look at the list you have created and count the resources you currently have and the ones you need to complete each step.
Make a visual representation of your plan. You could draw a treasure map with the different steps necessary to get to the goal.
5. Choose Consistency
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
- Proverbs 21:5 ESV
This is probably the hardest part of the change process. Getting started requires overcoming the fear of the unknown. Once you begin making a positive change, you are fueled for a short time by the excitement that the change will bring. That excitement, however, fades and then the true test begins.
When the journey takes longer than you thought and the obstacles seem bigger than you anticipated, it is easy to think of going back to your area of comfort. It is how you respond during this time that makes all the difference. Make your decision from the very beginning to follow through despite the hardships. Pray and ask God for strength through the discouraging parts of the trip.
Write down a pledge of diligence. Commit to moving toward your God-sized goal even if it becomes difficult. Keep this in an obvious place so that you can view it from time to time for encouragement.
6. Believe That You Can Bounce Back
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
- Proverbs 24:16 ESV
Reality sets in and we discover that we are imperfect people. We have the tendency to stumble along the way. You may find yourself falling down during your journey and when you do, you hear this little voice that says “you’ll never make it." In the midst of the discouragement, remember that nothing is impossible for our God. Each time you fall, you must get back up.
To get back on the right path, first, you must take responsibility. Ask God for forgiveness for any sin that has pulled you away from His plan. Then, refresh yourself on the plan to succeed. Look through all the things that you have written down and get excited about the destination once again. Lastly, actively engage in the next step toward the goal that God has for you.
Don’t give up based on a fall. Failure only occurs when we choose to stay down instead of rising once again.