Changing yourself. Isn’t this one of the most important items on that list? To me, it’s one of the hardest. A lot of the time I am completely blind to what I do wrong. Lately, as I’ve noticed, that has been different, though. I have a little voice tugging at my heart telling me, “Change this. This is wrong.” I’m beginning to listen and take action within myself.
Leo Tolstoy once said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” A bitter truth, don’t you think? We always promote change in the world. We vote in a new president (or don’t) every 4 years to change the way things are in our society. We set up donations and charities and all those beautiful things, but do we ever think of stopping to work on ourselves?
That would be selfish, right? To work on ourselves instead of others? To attempt to change our iniquities and negative aspects instead of others’? Think about this quote: “When you remember how hard it is to change yourself, you begin to understand what little chance we have of changing others.”
Change begins with us. I firmly believe this is one of the most misunderstood sayings these days. We believe it is meant to instill an action. It is meant to light a fire in us to work towards change around us. Volunteering, donating, etc. etc. What about this, though: What if it really means that it begins with changing ourselves? Not the actions we do, or the efforts we make, but literally about changing within ourselves?
Why, may I ask, is it so hard – and seemingly wrong – to focus long enough on our own problems and downfalls to promote a change within our hearts? For me, it’s hard to acknowledge that I can be so cruel and heartless, or that I can be selfish, or mean. It’s hard for me to admit to myself that I acted a certain way to hurt another. I don’t like hurting others. For others maybe it’s a prideful thing. Or maybe you’re just blind. I know as a teenager I was completely blind to a lot of my negative ways, and now in retrospect I see what God was trying to tell me: This. Is. Wrong.
So, what am I going to do? With all of this in mind I can’t just speak and not make an effort to do something. With this first fundamental I’ve already begun working towards changing myself. I’ve had this in mind for the past year, but it’s not something I’m ever going to forget.
There’s one last thing. How do you change yourself? It’s a simple answer that I’m sure some of you won’t like, won’t agree with, and possibly even be angry that I’m acknowledging. The only way to change yourself is through Jesus. The only way to change the inmost thoughts and actions of your heart is through God.
So how am I going to go about this? Nurture my beautiful relationship with the only Person who can change me for the good of everyone else around me.