It’s A Process

Click on the > above and you will be introduced to Pastor Idleman.  He explains the basic premise of his book AHA.

So far we have studied the first 4 chapters and in those chapters he has talked a lot about us seeing the need to change our behaviors.  Part 1:  Sudden Awakening

Let’s review:  We sometimes find ourselves far from God in what Idleman calls “The Distant Country”  Chapter 1.  Chapter 2:  We need to recognize our problems in “Coming To Our Senses”.  We should wake up to our problems when we have “A Desperate Moment” Chapter 3 and when we are faced with “A Startling Realization” we need to pay attention Chapter 4.

This is just the first step in the process of AHA; now Idleman wants us to take the next step which will be hard:  Part 2:  Brutal Honesty.

Why is honesty so hard?

We really don’t want to admit 1. we have problems  2.  we are responsible for our problems  3.  we need to make changes

Why is change so hard?

1. you have to feel.  That seems strange.  You might say I have feelings all the time but I have to ask, are your feelings productive?  Are you feeling joy about doing something that is not that good for you and then you feel guilt because you have done it?  Are you feeling excitement because you have gotten away with something and then you feel anxiety because you are afraid you are going to get caught?  Well those are feelings but I am not sure they are productive.  What about the feeling of doing the right thing?  What feelings can accompany that?  Relief, freedom, confidence etc.

2.you have to try the unfamiliar.  People who have experienced change relate that the reason people struggle with change is that they cling to the familiar.  What they are doing is harmful but it is part of their pattern of life.  It is scary to try to perform a new behavior because you are not sure that you can do it.  You may not have a positive result.  You cannot “see” down the road when you will be free from a behavior that is holding you back.  You have all heard the old expression that a “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  We all know that expression means that it is easier to accept what we have in front of us than to deal with the unknown.  People who are scared of change tend to retreat into the past, declaring that “this is the way my parents taught me,” or “it has worked for me before” or “this is the way I have always done this.”

3.you have to be willing to see change as a process.  You know what time of year we are in.  The glow of those new year’s resolutions may be fading a little.  You have made that commitment to go to the Y.  You have made that commitment to quit smoking. You have made that commitment to quit that behavior that is a sin.  You know it.  You do it.  You feel good when you do it and feel awful when you stop doing it.  You feel like a sinner.

Bet you did not see that one coming.

Pastor Idleman knows change is hard and as we read chapter 5, he is asking for the hardest change that we all have to make.  We need to be honest about ourselves.  We need to start the process by being honest about what we are doing.  If we are not honest, nothing will happen.  If we are not honest, we will hide from our real feelings.  If we are not honest, we will keep doing the familiar, that habit that is hurting.

Are you willing to start the process?  It all begins with Brutal Honesty.

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