The Apostle Paul - “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
If we want to change our lives, we ultimately have to change the way we think. However, that takes personal time and effort and surrender to the Lord. If we’re not willing to put in the effort to change, we will never overcome our character defects. So what are some steps we can take to overcome our character defects?
- We should work at changing one defect at a time. King Solomon writes that “an intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.” (Proverbs 17:24 TLB)
- We should pursue victory one day at a time. In the model prayer, Jesus didn’t teach us to pray, “Give us this month our daily bread.” Instead, He prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11)
- We should trust in God’s power rather than in our own willpower. We can’t do it on our own. We need the Lord. The Apostle Paul writes, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
- We should focus our thoughts on what is godly rather than what is ungodly. Whatever we focus on is what we move toward in our lives. The Apostle Paul writes, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8)
- We should do what is good rather than what feels good. It’s always easier to act your way into feeling than to feel your way into action. The Apostle Paul writes, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16)
- We should connect with people who will help us rather than with those who will hinder us. The right kind of people will help us move forward while the wrong kind of people will always steer us away from what God has for us. The Bible says that “As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.” (Proverbs 27:17 NCV).
- We should focus on making progress instead of striving for perfection. The Apostle Paul writes “God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task with you is finally finished.” (Philippians 1:6 GNB) We don’t need to be perfect. We simply need to be making progress.
Followup Activity - Read through the ways listed above for how we can overcome our character defects. Select one you need to implement in your life. In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out the scripture for the one you’ve selected and write out how you can make each real in your own life. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, read through the items as a family once again and then guide them as they complete the exercise above.
Prayer for Today - Lord, Please help me to overcome my character defects by helping me change the way I think. In Jesus’ name, Amen.