BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION OR “TRANSFORMATION?”

 

 
 How to gain Christian character as Ruth did.   
 
If you’re a new believer, understand that your old patterns of behavior and thinking will gradually cease to fit. As the Holy Spirit reveals new realities to you, you’ll discern a detachment with your past. If you’re sensitive to the Spirit’s mentoring, you’ll begin to identify ungodly traits that will hinder your spiritual growth and keep you from achieving what God has planned for you.
 
Be sure to implement everything the Spirit reveals to you about your new life. Determine to be obedient to His internal leading. Little by little, with His guidance, you’ll become strong enough to leave your past behind.
 
  • “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
 
The fear of doing anything untried and unknown may have hampered you in the past. But now, as the Lord reveals new information to your heart and mind, you can safely let go of your old ways. He’ll teach you to trust Him in your new life.
 
Spend the bulk of your energy pursuing this new life of yours. Become obsessive about it, pursuing Jesus with your whole heart. Become passionate about Christian character and where it will take you.
 
Before coming to know Christ as Savior, many of us were passionate about the things of this world. Determine today to exchange those interests and attractions for the better things of God.
 

Be careful not to mix elements of your old life with the new. If you don’t pull away from earlier loyalties―by the renewing of your mind by the Word of God―you may be lured back into your old lifestyle despite your good intentions.

A measure of understanding, wisdom, and knowledge of God must be firmly rooted in us before we can clearly see that our former life was one of emptiness.

 Keep your past—past tense. Instead, set your sights on the good future God has planned for you.

  • “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (James 1:2)
Embrace your new life in Christ. This may mean having to let go of familiar but unhealthy friendships. It may mean abstaining totally from your old routines and hangouts. Eventually, you’ll have no desire to return to the things you’ve left behind.
Many of us find fulfillment by engaging in activities with people who share similar interests. A new life demands new thinking, new people, and new interests. We won’t succeed in the new, while holding on to aspects of our former life. At best this is an attempt at behavior modification or psychology, and it comes from self, not from the Holy Spirit changing us from within.
 
We can’t be successful in any venture by merely refraining from doing something. Lasting change will come only when we’ve been renewed from within. Outward change is never sufficient. It isn’t lasting, because it’s modification not transformation. Christ is the only One who’s in the transforming business!
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