Summary: How do we make positive changes in our lives?

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Good morning. I’d like to begin by congratulating all of you for surviving the horrible consequences of the Y2K bug - the food shortages, the long lines at the gas pumps, the collapse of the banking system, the airplanes falling out of the sky, accidental launching of Russia’s nuclear missiles, the meltdown of the nuclear reactors. I know it’s been tough living these past nine days without electricity, or heat, or fresh water. I especially appreciate your showing up here this morning, knowing that every time you leave your house you take your life in your hands, risking attack by the roving bands of criminals who were released prematurely when the computers calculated that they had been in jail for over a hundred years.

Well, let’s talk about something else that happens around this time of year. Now, how many of you made a New Year’s Resolution this year? Would anyone like to tell us what their New Year’s Resolutions are?.

New Year’s Resolutions represent the triumph of hope over experience. It’s like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, even though Lucy always pulls it away at the last minute. In spite of the fact that we’ve failed to carry out our resolutions in the past, we think, "this year is going to be different!"

What I’d like to do this morning is give you some helps for change from God’s Word. Change is possible. The desire to make positive changes in our life is a good thing. It’s not foolish to want to . . . [examples]. But to be successful you have to go about it the right way, and that’s what the Bible can show us.

First, acknowledge the need for change

"How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it has to really want to change." It may seem obvious, but unless a recognition of the need for change, and a desire for change, there will be no change. You have to decide you want to change.

Corollary: you can’t change someone against their will. There’s a musical on Broadway now called, "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change." Doesn’t that sum up most relationships? So this is not a message about how to change someone else. I can’t give you any help with that. This is about helping you to make changes in your life.

· Listen to what others are telling you about your need to change.

"Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." - Proverbs 13:10 (NIV)

"Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise." - Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

Would all the people in the room who cannot think of one area in which they need to change please raise their hands? If you look closely, you will see that none of those raised hands are wearing wedding rings. Why? Because all of us have flaws, and the closer you get to someone, the easier it is to see those flaws. Most of you who are married are familiar with this concept.

So do we make use of this resource? Do we seek out the assistance of those closest to us, to help us identify areas in which change is needed? No. Why not? Pride. What happens when someone tries to point out a need for change in our life? We quarrel with them. Isn’t that true? Why? Pride.

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