Six Keys to Change
In the book, Influencer, Joseph Grenny and Kerry Patterson cite six important points to keep in mind in order to change just about anything. Many of us have probably tried some of these six ideas before to change, but according to Grenny and Patterson the key is to try to employ all six of these ideas at the same time. If you can do that your chances of change will be greatly enhanced. What I found interesting about these six steps to change is they relate to ideas that can be found in the Bible. Let’s see if you agree.
The first thing you need to have if you want to change is the proper motivation to change. If you are not motivated to change it is very difficult to get the ball of change rolling. For example, let’s say you want to lose weight. Unless your doctor warns you about the possibility of diabetes or high blood pressure you may not be motivated to begin the process of losing weight. Once you have the motivation it will take more to keep the change going. Does God provide us with motivation to change our life? I believe He does. If you read the Bible and believe it you will learn that the only way to eternal life comes through Jesus Christ. Matthew 6:33 is a great scripture to keep in mind to motivate you to keep your walk on the straight and narrow.
The second point around change is we must have the ability or knowledge to change. If we want to lose weight we need to know how to do it. We will have to begin the proper type of exercise program that includes anaerobic and aerobic exercise. We should consult books, magazines, and trainers to learn how to perform the exercise and how often we need to exercise. You will also need to learn about nutrition and proper eating habits. God uses the Bible to provide us with the knowledge we need to learn what we need to do to live the Christian life. When we read the Bible we learn we must repent, get baptized, and follow the example that Jesus set in His life.
The third thing that can help us implement change is getting some help from an expert or trusted source. Thinking about our exercise example, we might want to start working with a personal trainer who can help us get the job done. The trainer can offer advice and encouragement to keep us on track. If we were trying to change other things in our life a different expert might be consulted. Or a trusted friend, a parent, or a relative might help with the change you are trying to bring about. The point here is getting support from someone. With God, we learn that Jesus can be that Person you go to for support or a trusted person in the Church. The elders and deacons in a Church can also help support you in keeping your Christian walk in the forefront of your mind.
Similar to point number three, point number four is also a social type of support for your change. Point four draws upon some type of social network rather than a single individual to help in the change process. The person trying to lose weight may want to join an exercise boot camp and draw more support from a group of individuals who are also trying to lose weight. This team or group support is another needed element in making sure the change is followed and continued on a daily and weekly basis. We are told in Hebrews 10:25 not to forsake the gathering together with other believers. I believe part of the reason for this admonition is to help keep your faith strong in your Christian walk. If you continue to miss Church or not fellowship with likeminded believers you can easily drift away from the first love you experienced when you were converted.
The fifth element in helping make change stick revolves around rewards, punishment, and accountability. If you are taking on new eating habits in order to lose weight you may want to reward yourself with a meal of anything you want a couple times a week. This meal will become very special to you if you are keeping to the strict dietary changes you made earlier in your change process. If you are not keeping to your strict diet you may want to punish yourself by missing your special meal when you planned to take it. If you stick to this plan and are accountable to the rewards and punishment you set for yourself you are adding one more piece to the puzzle of making the change happen. Those of us who read the Bible are
well aware of the ultimate reward and punishment that God lays before us. Romans 6:23 tells us the reward of the saved will be eternal life, but death will be the punishment for those who don’t follow God’s way.
The final element in the change process according to Grenny and Patterson is to change your environment. Changing your environment is the sixth and final piece you need to have your best change at bringing about your change. Persons trying to lose weight may want to set up a home gym in the garage or basement to make their workouts more convenient. They also may want to stop buying snack foods so they won’t be tempted when they have the urge to snack in their home. These two things would be considered changing the environment in order to bring about the weight loss. The Bible tells us that in the future God will bring about a major change to the environment of this world in order to help bring about the change He wants for mankind. When God’s kingdom comes to this earth and Satan is put away for a 1,000-year period (Revelation 20) the environment will be much more conducive to bringing about the change God is seeking in His creation.
I hope this article can help in bringing about the change you are seeking in your personal and spiritual life. Try to implement as many of the six keys to change that you can, but remember all six will give you the best change to make the change stick.