How to Change in 2021

Happy New Year!!

It feels like I have not posted in a long time, which is true. Like the last time I posted was last year. I did plan on posting this past week, but I decided to live in the moment of family time instead.

Today is day 4 of 365; a brand-new book, unwritten, full of empty pages. Waiting for us to write pages of memories, lessons and our life of 2021.

Everyone is all hyped for the new year; goals and resolutions are being made, ones that probably won’t last until April, tops.

Goals and resolutions are like promises, which are like pie crusts; easily made, easily broken. Look at anyone’s list of resolutions and they all might look the same.

According to research, the top resolutions that are made every year are; exercise more, lose weight (I was successful with that in 2020) eat more healthy foods, save money, be happier/better mental health, and so on.

Many people are quick to admit that they need to do these things, but people are not quick, however, to admit that they need to change and are stuck in a rut.

People are naturally lazy. I hate to say that, but we are. We chose the easy path, by putting things off, we simply go through the motions of daily living, not willing to step out and live our lives to the fullest.  We often do not have the passion that we once had.

There are times in our lives that we hear a sermon or a song, we might read an article about living life with a purpose, a life that is on fire for Christ. And we get all pumped. We crank the praise and worship music, we sing extra loud in church, we get excited to do our devotional every morning.

And after about a week, we skip our devotional because we were in a rush, and the fire begins to dim a little, we come to church tired and don’t sing, the fire dims a little more. And soon the fire is nothing but an ember, half glowing, and we are right back to doing the motions.

We graze over a couple of verses for our devotional, we mumble along to the words of the songs, and soon our once passion is completely gone.

We get stuck in a rut of nothingness. And it is so much work to get out of the rut, that we get comfortable in it , we are not willing to get out of it and change.

I might be setting myself up for failure here, but I want to be up to the challenge. All my posts in January are going to have the theme of changing and getting back a passion for life and Christ.

And to start to get the fire back, we have to change our ways, and to do that, I would like to introduce to you the five Rs of change. These R’s are what my Pastor preached about last Sunday night. This was the perfect way to end the year and the perfect start to begin the year.

Each R leads to another, and it is the process we need to change our life into a better one. One that is for Christ.

The first R is Repent. The definition of repent is to view or think of (an action or omission) with deep regret or remorse. The first step in changing is admitting that you need to change and repent. True repentance leads a person to say, “I have sinned, and I need to change” and prove it with a 180-degree change of their direction.

And when we repent, we will have a change of mind and heart, also a change of attitude towards God and ourselves. Repentance is an honest, regretful acknowledgment of sin with a commitment to change.

The next R is to Renew. After we have repented, we need to renew our minds and think differently. We can have a new way of thinking. Romans 12:2 says

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Our minds are what controls our actions and can drag us back down the old path, which is why we need to put into practice every day, thinking differently. Because if we don’t, we will be a forgetful hearer. James 1:22-25 says

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;

24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

We are what we think. So, we should fill our minds with the renewing power of God’s word.

Reckon or Rely is the next R. This is defined as ‘rely on or be sure of doing, having, or dealing with.’

Believe is another way of looking at this one. It says in Hebrews that the word of God is living and powerful. It is full of truth, comfort, peace, wisdom, everything we need in our life is found in the Word.

We can rely upon and fully believe in God’s word. And when we do that, it will hold us accountable for our actions, if we slip up in our journey of change, we can immediately turn to God’s word and help us get back on track.

Replace is next on the list. Either it is laziness, skipping our devotions, watching something, whatever habit we are trying to change, we can’t just stop doing it, we need to replace it with something better.

If we simply stop doing our habit, but not replace it with anything, we are going fall back into doing it.

We need to put off the bad habit and put on a good habit.   

Ephesians 4:25-26, 28-29 says

25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Remove is the last R of change. If replacing the bad habit with a good one still does not work, we have to remove the source of temptation. If there is something around us that is causing us to sin or is causing you to stumble, remove it.

So, there you have it. The five Rs of change. We all have habits and ruts. And while some are good, we have bad habits, some of them control us, and we might not have the power to change them.

But through God, all things are possible. All we need to do is stop, realize we need changing, and repent. Renew our minds and head down the path of change.

2020 brought a lot of change, a good portion of it was not a good change, we might have fallen into some bad habits, take this year, this month, and renew our life.