Friday, February 11, 2011

The Power To Change

1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

Each morning, as soon as my children leave for school, I lace up my tennis shoes and get to work - I mean exercise. But on some days it feels like work!

About three years ago,I began doing the most impactful workout program. In my opinion, it is heads above any other home workout program that I have ever done. And trust me, I have fallen prey to many a infomercial for exercise DVD's, only to discover that they were too mind-numbing or monotonous to continue for more than two or three weeks.

But P90X is different, and I love it! My man Tony (the main guy that instructs you on what to do on all twelve videos) is very motivating, and during the videos, he talks....a lot.

On most days, I tune him out, or have the TV on, because I have heard his instructions dozens upon dozens of times. But one day this week, as I was jumping, lifting and sweating, something Tony said caught my attention.

I know I have heard him say this statement countless times, but it never quite stuck in my mind like it did on this particular day.

Tony simply said "Information is power. With power there is change. And change is good."

Of course, Tony is referring to knowing what exercise routines work best for us, and how that knowledge gives us the motivation and power to keep moving forward. However, I could not help but consider how relevant that statement is when it comes to our faith, and how we live our lives.

On that same day, one of my daughters shared with me a challenging situation she was having with another girl at school. This girl breaks all the rules, disrespects the teachers, demeans other students, and is dishonest with adults, yet never seems to be held accountable for her actions.

My daughter could not help but be angry, and frustrated beyond belief. I reassured her that those emotions are normal, when we see injustice or unfairness taking place around us, but we always have the power through faith to control our reactions.

The comment I had heard on the exercise video immediately popped into my mind. It was as if God affirmed the reason that I had remembered that comment, on that particular day.

You see, my daughter needed information and motivation, about how to deal with this situation. She needed to understand that she had the power within herself, through her faith, to forgive that person even though they may not deserve it.

I wanted her to understand that if she held on to that resentment, she was only hurting herself, not the other person.

And most importantly, I wanted her to see that by continuing to hold onto anger, she was allowing this other person to have power over her life, and her emotions, and ultimately, her happiness.

She needed to be reminded that we cannot change other people, no matter how badly we wish we could. However, we do have the power to change ourselves, if we ask God to infuse that power into our hearts.

And that kind of change is good.

I prayed with my daughter when she went to bed that night. We prayed that the Lord would fill her heart with peace, and the capacity to remember that He is still sitting on His throne, even when life seems unfair.

We prayed that she would have self-control, through God's power within her, and that she would be able to change her reactions to this other person's actions.

Just like my daughter, I have often wished I could change someone else, but I know that it is not within my power - and that no amount of anger, frustration, criticism, or buried resentment is going to make someone else change.

But I do have the power through God, to change myself, when I rely on Him to help me orchestrate those changes in my heart and my life.

I cannot control another persons behavior, but I do have God's power to help me change my reactions to their behaviors.

I cannot change another persons heart, but I do have God's power to change my heart towards them.

And most importantly, I certainly do not want to grant power over my life to anyone, except God Almighty.

Whether we need to change our eating habits, our exercise regimen, our actions, or our reactions, we do have the power to change, if we tap into the information found in God's Word that will help us achieve our goals.

Information that infuses us with power to change into the person that we know God created us to be.

And when we are changing to become more like Christ, change is definitely good.

"Information is power. With power there is change. And change is good."

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