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It's The New Year! Let's make some incredible changes together!
I finally did it. I took the plunge into the dark recesses of my closet and cleaned some things out. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of clothes. Not because I shop a lot, but because I don't like to let go of things. It's not really my fault, though. I inherited this habit from a parent who shall remain nameless. I can blame them, right?
Some of the stuff in there was too big because I lost weight, some of it was too small because I gained some back, some things had begun to show their age, and some of it was showing mine. For a lot of reasons it was time for this stuff to go.
As I sorted through shirts and pants, and made some tough calls on what would stay and what would go I realized that we have to do the same thing in other areas of life. If we want to move forward we have to make room by ditching some of the things that are holding us back. Growth requires us to evaluate where we are so that we can let go of some things in order to embrace others.
Here are some principles from the Bible that help us to make necessary changes:
Face Reality - We can't change until we are willing to admit and address our weaknesses. In Psalm 139 David asked God to search his heart and test his thoughts. In the letter of 1 John we are told that if we deny our sin we deceive ourselves, but if we confess it God will forgive and cleanse us (1 John 1:8-9). If we want to change we have to face all of our dirty secrets for what they are.
Change Your Mind - We then have to come to an understanding that our old ways are no longer ok. The Bible calls that repentance. We often think of repentance as changing our actions, but that doesn't happen until our hearts change. Once I am honest with myself, though, I can address how I look at my issues. The new attitude that results will drive the change that I need to make.
Change Direction - No one who is lost in the woods continues going the wrong direction once they know the way home. James wrote in his letter that it's foolish for us to listen to God's word without doing what it says (James 1:22-25). So, once we are armed with the knowledge of where change needs to take place in our lives, and we've made the attitude adjustment that comes with facing reality, what is left for us is to begin to clean out that overcrowded closet. It will be a little painful at first, but the space that you make for new things is well worth it.
Involve Others - Don't try to do all of this alone. God's word calls us a body and a family. We are told to pray for each other, confess our sins to one another, and carry each other's burdens. Let others encourage you, strengthen you, and hold you accountable. And you do the same for them.
It's time to clean out that closet. You'll be glad you did.
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