Summary: Practical steps on how to change.


A young soldier and his commanding officer were traveling by train in western Europe in the late 1800’s. By chance an elderly grandmother and her young and pretty granddaughter got on the train and sat down with the two military men. As they engaged in pleasant conversation, the soldier and the young lady kept eyeing one another and it was obvious that an attraction had developed between them. Suddenly as the train rounded a curve they entered into a long dark tunnel pitching the car into darkness. Virtually immediately there were two sounds heard. One was the “smack” of a kiss, the other the “whack” of a slap across the face. The grandmother immediately thought, “ I cannot believe he kissed my granddaughter, but I am sure glad she had the audacity to slap him for it.” The commanding officer thought, “ I don’t blame the boy for kissing that pretty young girl, but it is a shame that she missed his face and slapped mine.” The young girl thought, “I am glad he kissed me, I just wish grandmother had not slapped him.” As the train broke in to the sunshine from out of the tunnel the young soldier boy could not wipe the grin off his face. He had just seized the opportunity of a lifetime. He had kissed a beautiful young lady and slapped his commanding officer across the face at the same time. Best of all he had gotten away with both.

I believe in seizing opportunities and today is a great opportunity to learn some things

about how to change and apply them to your life.

Ever find yourself saying Gosh I hate this part of my life, or I wish I could change this. Ever been frustrated and asked yourself why do I keep doing this? You say to yourself I hate this but I keep doing it. I’ve got three points today that will help you to understand why it’s so difficult to change and the solution to it all.


Rom 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

Rom 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Rom 7:16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

Rom 7:17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.

Rom 7:18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Rom 7:19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Rom 7:20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Rom 7:21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. Rom 7:22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; Rom 7:23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. Rom 7:24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The apostle Paul understood the battle within and the frustration that came with trying to change. He says I don’t understand what I do, I hate what I do. I have the desire to do what’s right but I can’t do it. I keep on doing evil which is not what I want to do. So Paul was experiencing an inner battle, this war inside of wanting to do right but doing wrong. Senceca, a Roman philosopher born in 4 b.c. talked about how men hate their sins and love them at the same time. Ovid, the Roman poet, had penned the famous line: “I see the better things and I approve them, but I follow the worse.

The battle within, the frustrations, the failures effected Pauls view of himself and he calls himself a wretch. Notice what he says: What a wretched man I am!


Not being able to change, being frustrated and angry at yourself about the things that you do is a downward dangerous spiral which effects how we view ourselves and can lead to self-hatred, self-loathing. We says things like I hate myself, or you’re fat & ugly, nobody will love me, or if people knew the real me they wouldn’t want to be around (heck I don’t even like me). Self-loathing can lead to self-sabotage. We begin doing things that we thought we’d never do. We go out and get drunk and hate ourselves afterwards. We sleep with people we barely even know, some cut themselves as a form of self-sabotage. We do things to please others, to fit in, to belong even things that compromise our convictions and are dangerous and can cost us our lives.

The bible describes some of the things that we do.

Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Gal 5:20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions Gal 5:21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I did some of these things while going to college; sleeping around, pornography, partying, jealousy, fits of rage, playing the games. All of these things made me feel more and more empty, lonely and depressed, even suicidal. Now you wouldn’t have known it because I was good at wearing masks. I would come across like everything was great. Had it all together but inside I was insecure, falling apart. The only time I could really relax was by myself in my room. It’s a downward dangerous spiral and if we don’t put a stop to it, it just gets worse.

There’s an answer!


That’s the good news! There is a way out.

Paul says who will rescue me? Who will save me? Who will help me to change? Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done at this point in your life or how bad you think it is there is still hope to change. We’re going to look at a man who’s in a hopeless situation, trying to change his situation and the good news he found in Jesus.

John 5:1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.

John 5:2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.

John 5:3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.John 5:4 John 5:5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

John 5:7 "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."

John 5:8 Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."

John 5:9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

Jesus has the power to change you. Now he asks an interesting question. Do you want to get well? You’d think that anyone that’s an invalid would want to get well. Not everyone wants to get well. Not every homeless person wants to stop living on the streets. Not every drunk wants to stop, not every drug addict wants to quit. Some want to but are not willing to put forth the effort to change. The man was putting forth some effort he was trying and Jesus gave him that extra to help him. Whatever it is you’re trying to change Jesus wants to give you that help.

Recently I published a journal called Checklist For Change which shows you step by step how to change. You can obtain a copy by contacting Authorhouse at 1-800-839-8640 or log onto

If you have a humble heart and are willing to take some direction and turn it over to Jesus then there’s hope. U can change!