Do you want to make changes in your life? Most of the time you hear people say, “I’m going to stop doing _____” when setting a goal or resolution. People commit to stopping bad habits, changing their life styles, and purging the negative in their lives. But many forget about what to replace it with and setting a goal to let the good change in.
Do you ever hear someone talk about what will take the place of the bad they are getting rid of? Good for them that they are trying to clean up their life, but if they have a gaping hole that the negative used to fill, they are sure to fill it with another negative or relapse quickly if they aren’t careful.
It’s great to let go of the bad, but it’s better to let in the good change. Even scripture talks about this:
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.“
Ephesians 4:22-24 “ to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Think about these ways to let good change in your life…
Let Awareness In
If you float through life running into anything that comes your way, you might be living without intention. You are living in reaction mode. Letting in awareness means that you take a step back and take in all that is around you.
You pay attention and connect the dots of things happening around you. You understand and apply the concept of cause and effect and you think on a deeper level. This is part of being emotionally intelligent.
Don’t just say “I’m going to get my anger under control”. Let in awareness by saying, “I am going to stay aware of my emotions and not react in the moment when things go wrong by praying for the Holy Spirit to give me self-control, take a deep breath, and choose my words carefully before responding.”
Let Love In
It is a basic human need to be and feel loved. God created us that way. But not everyone is good at receiving it. Are you letting in love from others? Do you allow others to love you, or do you sabotage their love by not letting them get close? Have you ever tried to talk others out of reasons to love you by rejecting their compliments or putting yourself down?
What about with the Lord? Do you let in His love or do you let shame contradict the truth about His love?
If you don’t believe that you are lovable, it is difficult to let others love and care for you. When your self-talk reflects self-hate, you assume others see you with the same eyes that you see yourself. This mindset is anti-gospel. Let love in by believing the truth about God’s love and changing your self-talk to a kind, patient, and forgiving voice that allows you to not have to be perfect.
Let Forgiveness In
You can’t go through life without feeling hurt by another. We are all imperfect and our humanness shows in our relationships. Someone will inevitably disappoint, offend, or betray you in your life. When we carry these wounds around as part of our baggage, we can easily be overcome by the weight of them.
Scripture tells us it is an important part of relationships to forgive. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32. When you feel the grip of all you’ve been forgiven from by the Lord, it is easier to forgive others for how they have hurt you.
Forgiveness is hard and can be scary for many people. It can leave you feeling vulnerable to be hurt again. But forgiveness also offers freedom from the weight of the pain. Letting in forgiveness offers a pathway to healing.
Read more info on the healing process of forgiveness here.
Let Laughter In
My husband and I were just talking about how serious being an adult can be. People tend to be so distracted by real life and adulting that they lose their playful sides and forget to use their imagination. Part of lightening up in life is letting laughter in. Don’t just get lost in the heaviness of life. Instead, enjoy life through play and laughter.
Let Silence in
How often do you just sit and absorb the silence around you? If you are in a house like mine, you probably don’t get the luxury very often. With 5 people living in my house and endless things to do on my list, silence seems like an unreachable goal.
The Bible also speaks to this one. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” If we are overly busy and hurried, we will miss the beauty of knowing God in the stillness.
Getting lost in the noise of life can be exhausting and a major distraction from what matters most. Letting in silence gives you a chance to pause, reflect on all the Lord is doing and who He is, and just be present in the moment. Quiet the world around you and most importantly quiet the noise in your head to let the silence in.
So as you are thinking about things you want to change in your life, think about how you can let good change in your life too.