If change is inevitable - then how do you guide it?
Well there are lot of excellent models out there that one can use - my purpose here today is to help you build a good foundation to guide change with.
#1 - Determine what can and cannot change. - Quite simply, what are you willing to die for? There are some core values of your life that you will not give up. As a Christian, one of those things is what you believe in. The Deity of Jesus Christ - Salvation by Grace - The Inspired Word of God (to mention a few) are not negotiable. There are some things that you love that you will not sacrifice. Your marriage, your kids and your friendships. When change challenges any of these core values or things that you love (and you need to know what those are by the way) then you can tell change - No.
But matters of personal choice may be negotiable. I am not a dancer. In fact I was raised to believe that dancing was evil and from the devil. Now do I believe that there is some dancing that isn't right? - Yes. But my daughter is taking dance lessons. For a guy who thought that dancing was of the devil - I seem to be contradicting myself. Anneka takes ballet and tap. But I have said NO to hip hop. Now for my hip hop people out there, don't get angry. The particular teacher who instructs hip hop at this school has no problem with 7 year olds out there "shaking their booty" to the music. I do - end of story.
Before you resist change, take a moment to think about why? Are you resisting just because it is something that is deeply valuable to you? If it is - don't be surprised when your core values are challenged. Be prepared to give a clear and intelligent answer as to why. But if you are resisting just because it causes you personal discomfort or you have never done it that way before, you may need to reconsidered your response.
#2 - Keep God first - people second - yourself last. One of the things about change that is so demanding is that you don't change for yourself. That is selfish and comes from a prideful place in your heart. First of all you are committed to be more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit is here to guide us in that process of growth. In my heart that is the most important change that can happen in your life. The next level of change addresses others. When you put people ahead of yourself, your attitude towards change comes from a servants heart - not a prideful heart. Whatever pain you may endure because of change now has worth and reason - if you really believe in it. Keeping yourself last is the hardest one to keep in focus. We will fight for our family, we will fight for what we believe in, we will fight for country and our rights. But even when we fight for these noble things and really are do so for ourselves, victories will only be hallow and self serving.
#3 - Get help - Don't do this on your own. Find someone wiser and better than yourself to guide you through this process of change. It could be a pastor, a psychiatrist, a consultant even a good friend. A second set of eyes who will TELL YOU THE TRUTH and help keep you on track will always help keep the pain of change to a minimum.
Tomorrow - Leaders and Change