How to Find Healthy Motivation to Change

How to Find Healthy Motivation to Change

HikingYou know you should, but you just don’t. Perhaps for you that means you know you should lose weight, reign in your spending, give up the junk food, or change some other aspect of your lifestyle. Why can’t you do what you know you should? How can you find the healthy motivation to make the changes you know would help you be healthier, happier, or more successful?

Acting on what you know you should do doesn’t often work very well. Should usually implies that someone else thinks you should do or not do something. It’s usually an external motivation. It may create some change for a period of time; you may exercise more frequently if your work offers a financial incentive to do so, for example. But as soon as that external motivation ends, you’ll most likely revert to the habits you had previously.

You may agree with what you should do, but you can’t seem to find the internal motivation to stick with any changes. In our most recent reader survey a number of you spoke of the frustration between what you know you should do and what you actually do:

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When Judgmental Christians Hurt You

When Judgmental Christians Hurt You

Judgmental ChristiansYou’re trying to do good. Or at least you want to. Really, you do. You believe (at least most of you believes) that doing things God’s way is the best way. But every time you try to take a step forward, judgmental Christians seem to cut you down, point out your failings, and act like they’re too righteous to associate with you. They hold your sins over your head and try to prevent you from doing what you believe God has asked you to do. It’s awfully discouraging. You’re tempted to wonder if it’s even worth continuing to try.

You’ve probably heard people say that you’re supposed to keep your eyes on Jesus and not on people. That’s true. But how do you deal with the “friendly fire” from those who claim to be Christians?

In our most recent survey I heard from several of you who have been wounded in the name of God. A young man wrote, “The deepest hurts in my life are from Christians and the worst part of it is that they use God to hurt me.” A woman who struggles with her church wrote, “The bible talks about Christians restoring each other if we backslide. Often people are too judgmental to restore anyone.” Perhaps you too can identify with the frustration, hurt, even anguish behind these words.

I’ve been there; I’ve also been hurt in the name of God. I know that some of those who hurt me did so unintentionally, and some did so out of their own woundedness. Some also did so consciously and directly. And it hurts.

If you’ve been wounded in the name of God, my heart bleeds for you. And I want to give you some hope. Here’s what I pray you will understand and remember.

The Truth about your Christian-inflicted Wounds

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Do You Know How God Works With You?

Do You Know How God Works With You?

Biblical InsightHow does God work with you? Do you know? How do you hear His voice? How do you understand what He wants you to do, what He wants to grow in your character, or what He thinks about you? What does He use to change you into who He wants you to be?

Sure, there are the Bible studies on “How to hear God’s voice.” There are plenty of people who interpret Scripture, preach theology, or tell their experience of God’s activity in their life. But what about you? How has God acted in your life? What are the characteristics of His interaction with you?

One of the core beliefs that most of us Christians share is that God has been active in human affairs throughout history, and that He is active in the world today. But He can and does show up in many different ways in our lives. How we experience Him depends on our own personality, history, life circumstances, and openness to hearing and seeing Him.

Over time I’ve come to understand some things about how God has worked in my life. Some of those things are very different from what I understood about God and His working as a young person.

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Why You Must Find Your WHY

Why You Must Find Your WHY

Find Your WHYBrianna sat down to chat yesterday. Her second child is nine months old, and she and her husband are planning to try for a third within the next few months. They returned from a trip to France just a matter of days ago, and she couldn’t get enough of the good food there. She’s also trying to complete some extra coursework/certifications to further her nursing career. She knows she needs to make some changes in her lifestyle. “But not right now,” she said. “Perhaps in a couple years, when things settle down, I’ll work on changing my diet and getting healthier.”

I’ve got some news for Brianna. Things will never settle down enough to make it “easy” to get healthier. If she has a third child there will be that many more clothes to wash, doctor’s appointments to keep up with, and daycare or school decisions to make. More career opportunities will only add to potential responsibilities and their attendant stresses. More money could mean even more travel, more interesting restaurants to visit, and more reasons to delay making healthy lifestyle changes.

If you’re waiting until circumstances “settle down,” you’ll never start that exercise program, change your eating habits, have that difficult conversation, launch that business idea, make date night a regular appointment, or study the Bible more. You will only do the truly important things if you find a reason that’s bigger than your current circumstances.

You’ll only make a change when you find your WHY.

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The Single Most Important Way to Avoid Bad Advice

The Single Most Important Way to Avoid Bad Advice

Big brother offering advice to little brotherLearning from people who have experienced the same challenges you have is awesomely wise. It’s one of the most productive and efficient ways to grow, not to mention avoiding pain and heartache. That’s certainly true if the advice is good. But how do you know you’re not getting bad advice?

I’ve received plenty of both good and bad advice over the years. I remember one occasion when I purchased a car based on some bad advice from a friend. Seven months and numerous problems later I was relieved when I sold that car and only lost a few thousand dollars. Bad advice can get you in trouble in a hurry – and not just financial trouble!

Seeking wise advice is Biblical: “Where there is no guidance, the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14) But not just any counsel will do; it must be godly. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” (Psalm 1:1)

SO, how do you know whether this person or this counsel is wise, godly, and appropriate for you?

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