As a counselor, I consider myself something of a “Change Agent.” That’s because when clients come to me they are seeking either to change themselves or change someone they know. Unfortunately, the latter part of that pursuit ends only in frustration—since we cannot change anyone but ourselves. (But that doesn’t stop people from wishing that they could!)
One of the main frustrations my clients face and complain about is just how slow change happens. And usually they are much more impatient with the progress of their partners than they are with their own progress!—funny how that works. Typically, my clients come to me today wanting their marriage relationship to change yesterday! I try to remind them that 99% of the time change doesn’t happen quickly. This leads me to the first type of change:
1. Quick Change
And no, I’m not talking about “Jiffy Lube.” “Quick Change” is change that happens like it sounds—quickly! The problem is, this type of change happens only about 1% of the time. However, most people expect it to happen 100% of the time! I consider this type of change to be in the miracle category, because I believe God has intervened in the usual order of things whenever someone has changed overnight.
The second type of change is:
2. Slowpoke Change
No one wants to accept this fact, but the truth is that change is painstakingly slow. Did I mention, change is slow?! Okay, just in case you didn’t get it—change is slow!! Most of the time when we make a change for the better, we can only maintain that new change briefly before we lapse back into the old pattern. That doesn’t mean we are doomed to stay in that old pattern, but it does mean that in order to change we will need to recommit to that new change repeatedly before the new change is established.
The truth is, the only real “Change Agent” is Jesus. And only He can give you the power to make lasting changes in your life. Remember, God works not only in the “Quick Changes,” but also in the “Slowpoke Changes.” In fact, I’m convinced that God does more in me in those slowpoke changes than He ever does in the overnight variety.
Bottom line –
• Be patient with yourself and others since change happens SLOWLY
• Look to Jesus to help you change
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)