By Jeff Moon
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hy does one person make healthier choices than another? What drives someone to change his or her life for the better, instead of settling for the status quo or destructive behaviors? Why must some people apparently hit rock bottom before turning themselves around to start making good decisions?
Everyone has thoughts or desires that can lead to poor decisions and actions. But some people seem to have a knack for doing well, while others tend to suck the life out of the world around them. This article is not a definitive answer for every situation that could ever arise, nor is it a 3-step plan that will make every reader equally able to make their wildest dreams come true. If such an article could exist, it already would. However, there are some principles that are accessible to the willing-they are not glamorous, but the truth rarely is.
Begin to think of a situation either in your own life, or with someone you know. Let this situation be some kind of stumbling block that either keeps resurfacing, or never really leaves in the first place. For the sake of discussion, let’s have this be a situation that is not completely outside the person’s control. Instead, let it be some behavior pattern, addiction, habit, crime, attitude, something the person wants to move past but cannot seem to do so.
To make this discussion easier, I will refer to you (the reader) as the person with the issue in question. Okay, so you have this issue, and you would like to conquer it. I will call the issue alcohol abuse, but you can substitute it with whatever you like. Not that every need is the same, but let’s just go with it.
Here are some basic, yet potentially life-changing, points:
- When we know what is good and do not want it, we are face-to-face with our sinful nature. I am not judging anyone, but this is one indicator that we rebel against what is good. That’s sin, and that’s normal. But the fix is spiritual healing, within ourselves and between us and God, according to the Bible.
- Consider what you really want. What need are you trying to meet? Don’t hide it, be very honest with yourself.You have a reason for what you do, and it makes sense You do what you do, for a reason. You might not like where it takes you, but it will continue to take you there until you do something differently. You are trying to meet a need, or to avoid something you don’t like.There is probably a healthier way to meet your need Is there another way to meet your need? Probably so. You might discover it quickly, or you might not be able to. You might need help learning to find that healthier way. If it remains a mystery, consider finding someone who can help you pinpoint a healthier option.
- You might not like the healthier way when you find it Just as with food, and other areas of life, healthier choices are not glamorous, and sometimes not very fun. You might need spiritual healing in order to start wanting what is healthier.
- Choosing well does not make us spiritual gurus, nor do destructive choices make us evil. But the spiritual component is just as real as any other facet of life, and it deserves our attention. Our willingness to see ourselves as faulty, yet loved, can help us graciously accept our weaknesses, and also set our sights higher. You are an amazing, miraculous creation, and you were created on purpose, intentionally. Therefore, maybe now is a good time to connect with the Creator, even if you already have done so before. He is not waiting to punish you; he loves you, and will not force you to yield to him. He waits.
There is too much more to say than can fit in this article. But the more we see ourselves as loved by our Maker, the higher our “rock bottom” becomes. We need not stop growing and thriving, only to sink lower. Instead, we can dare to live in daily relationship with the Lord, quietly following his lead. I just ask you today to listen-not to me, but to him. It’s okay to move past your problematic issues, because he will help you get your deepest needs met in spite of our own weaknesses and temptations. He is the healthier alternative to our destructive ways.