Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to Change Behavior

"Behavior is consistent with self-concept, and the most efficient way to change is to alter the self-concept." 
V. James Mannoia, Pastoral Counseling

Once the self-concept is changed, Mannoia states, 

"The change comes about when the individual perceives his own newly experienced self."

At age 38, after abundant failed self-attempts to change within the same self-concept I had always lived within, transformation finally came in the form of Christ. 

As my identity altered from me to Him, change happened. 

The drinking was the first to go. 

Other outward and inward dysfunctional behaviors, emotions and worldviews have been being shed ever since, and Biblical behaviors, attitudes and worldview added. 

It does take time. It is a narrow path. 

Most people are skeptical when they hear of it (but the change cannot be denied). Most people, when push comes to shove, don't want to change. Even dysfunction is comfortable in its predictability, its allowance to be perpetual victims, and to have a steady source of drama. To live a quiet life in Christ, void of self, is not something most people willingly go after. 

That's why God, in His mercy and desire that none perish, demands that nothing fill the void that only He can fill. 

So day after day, whether people go about in resigned mediocrity or whether they live addicted to material things, emotional states, or mind-altering substances, God calls people within the truth that nothing satisfies outside of Him. 

Fundamentally the first change that precedes all change is the discovery of God in Christ. Once found, the previous attempts to fill ourselves with Him via imposters will come to an end because we will have received what we had been missing all along, but never knew. 

The mystery is revealed in Christ.

copyright Barb Harwood

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

"A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:5-7

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 11:15

"He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that he got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, 'Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.' And he was saying, 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'" Mark 4:1-9

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