About a month and a half ago, I had this nagging feeling something in my life needed to change. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it for awhile, but right around the new year it became very evident. I want to share with you the signs that lead me to conclude change needed to happen. Hopefully these five points will help you recognize something in your own life that needs to be different.
- Listen to the ones you love.
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”John 21:15-17 NIV
If someone keeps bringing something up, asking about a specific thing, or dropping hints about how you have made them feel recently, take notice. Here in John, Jesus keeps asking Peter, “Do you love me?”. There is a significance to Jesus asking Peter this same question three times. In Jewish culture, three is significant because it marks something that is important. For example, in biblical times and even to this day, certain cultures greet each other with a certain number of kisses on the face. One kiss means you are someone who the person may have just met and are friendly towards, two kisses is intended for close friends, and three kisses is intended for family. The next time you are reading scripture, look out for areas where something happens three times. Make sure to listen also to those you love if they keep saying something, directly or indirectly, about how you have been acting lately.
2. Look for patterns
If you read the book of Judges, you will see a pattern of the Israelites falling away from God and then being saved by a, “judge”. This happened over and over throughout the book all because the Israelites wanted a human figure head to rule over them. They wanted a king, but what they wanted was not what was best for them. God still worked through this though, because God set the scene for Boaz to redeem Ruth and so began the line of David.
Is there a pattern of behavior you notice in yourself? One thing I did to help me recognize patterns in myself is to journal. It helps me to remember more of what I do consistently. This allows me to be more introspective and contemplate what things may be affecting those around me in a negative manner. So what will be your first step in recording the patterns in your life?
3. Feeling “stuck”
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]” 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”Luke 18:18-30
When you have experienced this feeling of being, “stuck”, you know its painful sting all to well. The rich young ruler was one person who Jesus told how to change and he went away sad. I think the rich young ruler wanted eternal life, but he was, “stuck”, with not wanting to give up his wealth. If you hit this wall of being stuck, do you have a plan in place to get unstuck?
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