The Common Pattern of Life Change is … “I was living this way. Then one day, THIS happened. Now I live my life this way.”
Does that sound familiar?
When you read the above common pattern of life change, you probably have at least one question. What is THIS in the second sentence of the common pattern?
Well, THIS has two options. The "THIS" you choose is critical for your life - it is the difference between taking the right or wrong path.
(Before you read further, you should review the three options for change and the Common Pattern for Life Change. The following is helpful as a stand-alone, but the other material aids your understanding.)
THIS Is One of Two Options
So, what is THIS? It is …
- Truth and Reality or
- Lies, Deception, and Bad Assumptions
The option you choose shows where your life goes after that point. Or, better yet, get clear right now. All you need to do is compare your decision to great values or get help from someone. When you make a decision that fits excellent, transcendent values, you always choose option 1 - Truth and Reality.
On the other hand, lies, and deception lead to unexpected consequences, regrets, grief, and slavery. When I speak of slavery, it is like slavery to addictions. Lies and deceit create a life like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - you wonder how things got so messed up. Deception always looks like something good but ends up bad.
Truth or Reality is the exact opposite. Your choice does not look good or best even when you make it. You may tell yourself it is the wrong way. But, when you choose that option, you immediately or eventually see rewards, wisdom, and freedom from your decision - all of which are also largely unexpected.
An excellent example of a life change for me is an ugly marital situation between my wife and me. After some initial marital counseling, we were asked by the elders in our church to be open about our marital problems. This was especially difficult because I was an elder in the church, and Louie was the teaching director of a Bible study for hundreds of women in our community. Because we were leaders in the community, their decision was correct and matched great and Godly values.
You would be correct to assume that was not something we wanted to do. Our emotions did not support doing anything like that. All we saw was the humiliation of people knowing about our behavior and actions that did not match good values. Public confession makes us vulnerable to scorn and rejection, not something you easily choose.
But, there was a great surprise for both of us afterward. That public confession was a great benefit to both Louie and me. First, it removed spending any energy trying to hide what had happened. The truth was shared, and now it was open to anyone who wanted to know the appropriate details.
Second, it became a blessing and help for other people's marriages. Our confession told the truth about our situation; both Louie and I together were the problem, not just one of us. That helps others understand what is common in most relationship problems. Despite what you believe, both parties contribute to the problem. That is especially difficult to accept when one party is more visible in their bad behavior.
Finally, it was a great blessing and help in restoring our marriage. When everyone knows about your problem, you spend time working on the solution rather than covering it up.
That one action, even though difficult, was a critical part of providing a faster path to restoration and healing for Louie and me.
Reality or truth provides largely unexpected rewards, wisdom, and freedom!!
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. – C.S. Lewis
It’s your choice.
What are you leaving unchanged? What life change do you need to make? Has it been brought to your attention - maybe repeatedly?
You have two options: you will make the change or won’t. Which THIS will it be this time?