I often sit across from those that say they are finally ready to listen, receive, and act upon reasonable advice. This is always good to hear, but I have learned that many times they are only willing to do this when my counsel lines up with their will. Often, even though I have collected facts that validate my advice, they will reject my counsel in favor of a solution of their own making.
You see, my advice almost always involves a change that must take place on their part that can be unappealing to them. I may later ask why they were not open to the prescribed solution, and they often respond, “I don’t know.” Although that answer is one that is quick and easy, it simply means that they haven’t been honest with themselves or with me.
A person’s resistance to change is often linked more to what they must give up than what they will gain by changing. For so many, this is just too difficult and the path of least resistance wins again.
For true change to be effective, it must reflect an altered lifestyle. Many times, it will be something drastically different from what they are accustomed. For example, if in the past one has been quick to lash out at others, that person must now choose to live a tempered, controlled life. If dishonest and untruthful, a measured and thoughtful approach to others is now the more appropriate response.
True lifestyle modifications are only possible when motivated by a genuine resolve to deep-seeded behavioral alterations. The catalyst inducing the change must be more powerful than the natural urge to remain in the old behavior. The prospect of losing a spouse to divorce can cause some to make drastic, permanent lifestyle changes.
We should always remember that we are all only one decision away from a completely new life. Although comfortable with the status quo, most really do want to make positive changes that enhance their relationships.
Throughout the scriptures, we are encouraged seek out positive changes.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)