If I want my life to BE different, I have to live differently. The definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
I talk to so many people who moan and lament where their life is, their spiritual walk, their kids, their friends, their health, their jobs... this list of our woes is endless. They don't like where it is, they don't like how they feel about it, they don't like where it's going, but they do next to nothing to change their circumstances, or they quit every attempt long before victory has a chance to show itself. I have been - who am I kidding - I am one of those people at times.
The verse I started with stuck out to me because I think this is one of the primary ways God has given us to bring about change in our lives. Each other. If I want something to change in some area of my life, instead of wallowing in self-pity, I need to look around. Who is doing it like I want to do it?
Now, at this point, we hit the hard part.
I need to go to that person - I need to be transparent...vulnerable. "You are where I want to be. How did you get there?" This takes swallowing my pride and admitting to others that I don't have it all together. Lots of us play the "humble card" - talk the talk of the one that doesn't have it all together, but we don't really put ourselves out there, in specific ways - honestly - with one another. Bearing one another's burdens, confessing our sins, being honest about where we are and where we want to be.
We don't put ourselves in a position of accountability. What do I mean? Here's some examples - some I've seen, some I've done -- I want to be a better mom, but I don't want to admit to anyone the crappy choices I make in mothering. I want to be healthier, but I don't want to confess to you the junk food I consistently eat, or the time I waste instead of investing in my health. I want to be free of this addiction, but I don't want to admit to anyone that I have it. I want to live a life of purity, but don't want to admit the places I put myself that are filled with impurity. I want to live honestly, yet cannot admit my lies. And the list is endless, really, of how we can live in self-deception.
I heard a teacher say recently that the only way we could avoid self-deception is to have someone speaking into our lives that we trust more than we trust ourselves. And they can only speak into our lives if we're honest about where we are. They will be people who have failed, and still fail at times, but have found a way out of the cycles of insanity we can often find ourselves trapped in. I'm not talking about throwing up to everyone that asks how your day is going, but there is someone in each of our lives that can speak wisdom into an area of our weakness. -- Someone who I trust to be honest with me - Someone that can help me see where I am consistently kidding myself.
The next hard part? I have to be willing to receive the word spoken to me. I have to be ready to hear another say it out loud - that the choices I am currently making are hurting myself and/or others and seek ways to allow God to change that in me. So. Hard.
God gives us godly examples in scripture as well as in our faith communities to help us grow, to change, to live differently. I pray I will learn to watch, and be accountable, honest and transparent, to those who have gone ahead of me, not as heroes incapable of mistakes or sin, but as examples to help me in my pursuit of a life that honors our King.