In my last post I said that leaders who won’t change won’t be able to teach others to do the same. Their followers will be at a loss as to how to change themselves.
The tendency is to tell people to pray and God would help them. Indeed, He would. But, that does not mean that we don’t start doing — make an effort — to realise the things we are praying for, especially when it involves character and personality flaws.
Character building and personality development don’t happen automatically, nor overnight — miraculously. If today we are weak-willed, it does not mean that by praying, miraculously, tomorrow we become strong-willed. It happens over time, as we take first small but later bigger steps to become stronger where we are weak. That is true of all our shortcomings.
My greatest fear is — was — to be alone. I did everything to not be alone. But, I lost everyone close to me and I had no choice but to be alone. I prayed and God gave me hope that I won’t be alone. But, everyday, I was alone. But, because He gave me hope, I found faith to take small steps to come to terms with being alone. I learnt to live alone, do my chores alone and eat alone when I couldn’t find company. I looked for partners and gave everyone chance but they didn’t work out. When I grew in faith, I could make the big decision of not giving every partner chance for fear of being alone! I am still alone, but, I have surviving family members and a few friends who are close and these relationships are precious to me. But, when I am alone — which is most of the time — I truly enjoy my solitude!
It is those little steps of faith that eventually bring about the major change. As we take those steps, from small to big, we live. That is something that God won’t do for us. That is what we have to do. Live. It means we have to find the faith to successfully navigate through our ordeals. In doing so, we live — in Him. And, we realise His power in our lives!
Yet, I know of good Christians, much blessed, who can not cope with the pressures of life. They fall apart, or run away and or escape behind their so-called “blessings”. When their children or someone around them also are unable to cope, they are helpless, can’t give real help to overcome. They hope that by running to the altar and praying, God will do the miracle of changing their circumstances but they themselves will make no effort by faith to change. They remain Christians but are powerless to deal with the stresses and challenges of life.
As a result, the faith that is passed on to the next generation is weak; it is not an enabling faith. That is the greatest disservice that we can do for those coming after us. Their life is going to be harder and if we don’t teach ourselves and others now this one thing about appropriating the power of God to change our lives and, as a result, our circumstances, we fail them. We do not prepare them for what is ahead.
That is the reason why we need to deal with our shortcomings. By applying faith to it, we become strong, and learn the power of redeeming grace. Armed with that knowledge and experience, we will be able to take on any challenge of life, and teach others the same.