Imagine riding in a speedboat on a lake with an automatic pilot set to go east. If you decide to reverse and head west, you have two possible ways to change the boat's direction.
One way is to grab the steering wheel and physically force it to head in the opposite direction from where the autopilot is programmed to go. By sheer willpower, you could overcome the autopilot, but you would feel constant resistance. Your arms would eventually tire of the stress, you'd let go of the steering wheel, and the boat would instantly head back east, the way it was internally programmed.
This is what happens when you try to change your life with willpower: You say, "I'll force myself to eat less ... I'll exercise more ... I'll quit being disorganized and late."
Yes, willpower can produce short-term change, but it also creates constant internal stress because you haven't dealt with the root cause. The change doesn't feel natural, so eventually you give up and quickly revert to your old patterns.
There is a better and easier way: Change your autopilot. Change the way you think! The Bible says, "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think" (Romans 12:2b, NLT).
The New Testament calls this mental shift "repentance," which in Greek literally means "to change your mind." You repent whenever you change the way you think by adopting how God thinks: about yourself, sin, God, other people, life, your future and everything else. You take on Christ's outlook and perspective
Talk It Over
- What has been the result in your life of trying to make changes on your own power?
- How can you take on new habits that will help you think more like God does?
- What is different between how God thinks about the things in your life you need to change and the way you think about them?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.
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