There is a point where doing something different becomes very difficult. Yes, you did something different one time. And then you did it again. Success.Before you know it, you’re a week deep in success. The problem is that quite often, you may feel like you’re actually weak in the depth of your success. This happens mainly when it is difficult for you to accept your own success.
What is the missing quotient? It seems like the behavior modification is coming along, but you still feel hollow.
What you may be encountering is the difference between a behavior modification and a core transformation.
For instance, if you went out and bought a 1998 Dodge Ram, you would probably get anywhere from 12 to 18 miles per gallon while driving. Over time, you would notice that you were paying an incredible amount on gasoline. Then one day, everything changes. You check out your gas mileage, and your Dodge Ram just got 40 miles to the gallon. And it did over the entire tank of gas. You can’t believe your eyes! You call home, you call friends, family members, you yell like crazy at the gas station asking everyone to celebrate with you! Woohoo!!
You fill back up, and as you do, there is a mixture of excitement and fear. What if your Dodge Ram can suddenly get 40 miles to the gallon? Then again, what if it is just a freak accident because that doesn’t happen with these trucks.
Just because your Dodge Ram made the change over one tank of gas doesn’t mean you feel the guarantee of future success when it comes to your gas mileage. If I were you, I would thank God for the one time that a fluke happened. Maybe it is because I’m a cynic, or maybe it is because I know the truth about Dodge Rams.
You won’t get 40 miles per gallon in a 1998 Dodge Ram again and again. That is not the way their engines are designed to run. You know this is true as well. It just doesn’t work like that. That Dodge Ram is living in the truth of which it was made. And so it is very powerful, but it does not get 40 miles per gallon. It will end up costing you a lot to keep it long term, because it will out of the truth it has been given.
That is a Dodge Ram. A machine. Something created by human hands. It operates in its specific truth that it has been given.
That’s what things usually do. Things operate in the truth they are given.
Unfortunately, so do people.
Which is why you can have success for a week or two weeks, but you know deep down it won’t last. Because you don’t believe you’re a winner. There’s a little truth that is unpleasant. Losers don’t win. If you believe you’re a loser, then you won’t believe that you’re going to win. Even if there are signs of winning, even if everyone tells you that they believe in you, you don’t view yourself according to what they say. Because you believe something different about yourself.
Kind of like that one girl that all the guys talk about. They say she’s beautiful, and sometimes, she’ll even acknowledge that she looks good on a day. But looking good, and feeling worthy of love are two different things. Aren’t they? So she does things to get compliments. And she lives for a moment on the compliments, but those words don’t speak to her soul. Her soul feels unworthy of real love, and she stops believing that the real thing could really be that good.
Or the man who works himself to death. All week long, all he does is work, because no one ever told him he is important. So he stays busy so that he won’t have to feel worthless. Worthless is a really lonely place to be. He loves getting promotions, treasures achievement, and keeps reminders of his success all around him. After all, if you took the success away, what would he have. So he reminds himself of who he is by what he has done. Deep down though, he doesn’t believe those achievements truly represent him, yet they are the only thing that he really holds on to.
Paul wrote about all this one time in Philippians.
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-10
This is a core change from the inside out. Paul could write those words though because he let himself die. Everything he held onto, he gave up. That is real sacrifice. You have to die to get to your core. You have to die to the lies so that the truth can be found.
It would be crazy if a Honda Civic that was designed to get 40 miles to the gallon was just getting between 12 to 18 miles per gallon. That car should be serviced. It isn’t living according to how it was made.
Genesis 1 says that God created us, male and female He created us, in His own image He created us.
We are image bearers of God. We are worth His image. We are loved by Him. We are chosen by Him. We were created for Him. We deserve trust, love, joy, passion, and hope. That is part of why Jesus died for us. Because God believes that you deserve what you don’t believe you deserve. He believes you deserve a second chance. God’s truth is our truth. But just because that is our truth doesn’t mean you believe it. You might just be fooled.
Dismissing the lies isn’t easy. But if you don’t dismiss the lies, you can’t live out of God’s truth. If you don’t live out of God’s truth for you, then you might not believe you can actually succeed in life. Because you’re fear might be that you’ll just end up failing. Or that it won’t matter anyway, because you don’t feel worthy of love.
Here’s the scary question: If you don’t live out of God’s truth for you, then whose truth are you living out of?
If God’s truth became your truth, what would be possible? What could you do? What if God’s truth could be your truth? What if what God believes about you is true, even though you may often disagree with him? What if you could believe not just in your head, but in your heart? What would be possible?
You might be able to do something different again and again and again. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free.
This is what I’m passionate about. I don’t have your answers. You do. I might be able to help you get to a place where you could get your own answers. Let me know if I can do anything. Have a great weekend!