Change Takes More Than Words

Jason Farr

Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, once shared an anecdote about telling singer Justin Timberlake that he was drinking protein shakes to get healthy. Problem is, Jimmy Fallon wasn’t working out. So, JT had to tell Jimmy Fallon that if he only drank protein shakes without working out, he’d get fat.

Every January, people want to lose weight and get healthy. We find the latest fad diet, get a gym membership, and proudly declare that this will be the year.

The thing is, lip service won’t make us healthy. Changing our health means changing our lifestyle. And a change of lifestyle requires a change of heart and mind.

The same principle applies in our spiritual lives. We don’t become more like Jesus by going to church once, praying one time, or signing up to volunteer. We have to have follow through. We have to show up regularly, ready to hear from God. We have to change our schedules and our priorities.

No one in the Bible saw their spiritual health transformed without also seeing their lifestyle changed.

Three Examples of Whole Life Change from the Bible

1. David went from being a shepherd to a king.

David was a shepherd boy who was anointed king. His rise from shepherd to king didn’t happen overnight, but instead came to fulfillment as he was faithful with the things God asked of him (1 Samuel 16: 1-13).

2. Simon became Peter.

Before Peter met Jesus, he was a fisherman named Simon. Jesus gave Simon a new name and identity. But Peter’s transformation from curious fisherman to the man who would one day lead the church happened over time as Peter followed Jesus and learned from Him (John 1:42, Matthew 16:13-19).

3. Saul became Paul.

One of the most drastic transformations in the Bible happened to Saul. Saul was a religious rule-keeper who saw Christianity as a cult and killed those who followed Jesus. In Acts 9, Saul meets Jesus and becomes a Christian himself. Paul’s transformation was miraculous, but his impact on the church and world came in the days and years after his salvation as he started churches and wrote several letters that became part of the New Testament.

None of these transformations can happen for us without Jesus. We can’t have the same kind of transformation without consistently submitting to Jesus’s example and God’s plan. Whatever we want to see change in our lives, the way to get there is to start and invest consistently in our relationships with Jesus.

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