Some Steps Of Effective Changes, Superficial Apologies, when I say “I’m sorry
I’m sorry” is not the end of rebuilding a shattered marriage but only the beginning of genuine change. But what does that change look like in real life? Jesus told his own disciples that their spirits were willing, but their flesh was weak. No one changes overnight and never messes up again in critical issues. Lasting change comes hard for all of us, Below are six biblical steps one can take to show that their “sorry” is more than mere words.
1. Clarity: We can’t help someone to change something that he or she cannot or will not see. Jesus calls this condition in its extreme form of blindness, and when we are blind to our own sin, we can’t repent. Matt13v14-15 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them . This is why some can’t admit their wrong . Never argue with them because they will push you to anger and cause you pain for they can see things the way they are.
Eph1v 17-18 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, It take enlightenment to experience self conviction,
2. Effective prayer: Zech12v10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Except personal responsibility for the person to see his part of the problem. It’s always easier to blame others for their failure or their mistakes.
The Scriptures warn us that we are all self-deceived and that we cannot know our own selves apart from God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and trusted others who help us see ourselves more honestly (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:25; Hebrews 3:13). If someone’s sorrow is genuine, he stops lying to himself that it’s everyone else’s fault that he behaves the way he does. He stops telling himself that what he does isn’t that bad or that he can’t change.
Because change only begins when a person sees clearly he needs to change and that means taking responsibility for himself and his own destructive behaviors–no more blaming, no more excuses, even if provoked.
3. Commitment: There are things that people see quite clearly yet they are not committed to changing them. They may see the growing numbers on the scale or the rising credit cards, yet it feels too hard or they’re not yet willing to give up the temporary good feelings they receive from overeating or overspending.
Most time we see people who want to change but do not want to do the work involved to actualize that change. Like Naaman, who resisted Elisha’s instruction for his healing, a lot of people we work with are looking for a quick fixed. (See 2 Kings 5 for the story.)
It’s not enough for our counselee to see clearly his or her problem, or even want to change. For change to actually happen our counselee must make the commitment to do the work to change , so that these same issues that have broken trust in his marriage don’t continue to repeat themselves.
For example, a verbally abusive man may need to learn how to control his mouth ,temper and how to handle his frustrations, disappointments, and negative feelings when his wife upsets him or doesn’t do what he wants her to do. In the past he blamed her, insisting that if only she changed and didn’t upset him, he wouldn’t have acted that way.
Now he realizes that there is no perfect wife, and it’s unrealistic and unreasonable for him to demand that his wife never upset him. But in addition to his new clarity, he must be committed to learning how to manage his own temperament.
4. Confession: No one changes perfectly overnight, but when he messes up and repeats is old behavior, he must now do something different than what he has done in the past. Now he confesses, He no longer hides lies, minimizes, or blames someone else for his bad behavior.
Practicing confession humbles us. It helps us put into practice the new attitudes and actions that we want to grow in. John the Baptist said it best to the Pharisees that were talking the talk but not walking the walk. He said, Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Repentance isn’t just saying I’m sorry–confession is turning from your sins and learning not to repeat them.
5. Brethren: God did not intend people to mature all by themselves. From birth he put infants into families to help them learn, grow, and mature. The family of God is instructed to love, encourage, admonish, and strengthen one another so that we all might grow into the full measure of Christ.
When someone is genuinely sorry for repetitive sins, they are willing to allow people along side of them to give them honest feedback on their behaviors and attitudes. The Bible tells us that we need one another so that we don’t stay deceived about our own selves (Hebrews 3:13).
Since so many has come to understand that they cannot grow to become the person God calls him to be all by himself. He may invite his spouse, pastor, counselor, as well as other wise and godly friends, to give him feedback and hold him accountable to the changes he states he wants to make.
6. Consequences: One of the most amazing freedoms God has given his creatures is the freedom to choose. We can choose right or wrong, love or hate, good or bad, to change or not to change. Closely linked to our choices are the consequences of our choices.
An important part of growing up is being able to see ahead to the consequences of our choices, both positive and negative. For example, if I choose to spend my paycheck on a fun vacation instead of pay my bills, the consequences is that I don’t have enough to pay my bills. Then I feel stressed, damage my credit rattling, and incur late charges. Was it worth it?
By the mercies of the lord, it is important we see ahead to the results of their choices. Sometimes, especially in marriage, our partner expects “sorry” to mitigate all negative consequences. They quote “love covers a multitude of sins,” expecting love to give them a get out of jail free card or total amnesty when they’ve seriously sinned against their partner.
Matured people realize that grace and forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mitigate negative consequences of one’s poor choices. God warned Adam and Eve that if they chose to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, they would die. He gave them the freedom to choose, and they suffered the consequence of their poor choice, even though God still loved and forgave them.
It’s important for one to accept the consciousness that when he sins against his spouse there are always negative consequences. IF that is what he wants? Painful consequences are God’s way to help us wake up and stop doing destructive and sinful things. Moses encouraged the Israelites to choose life so that they and their children would experience the result–life and God’s blessings (Deuteronomy 28).
Clarity, commitment, confession, brethren, and consequences are six stepping stones that lead to greater growth and maturity, which can lead to lasting change.Share On: