Déjà vu




The old saying goes something like, “If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expect different results, there’s something kinda off in your thinking.” (Well that’s’ the nice way to say it). But why is it that we keep making the same mistakes over and over again? It’s not as though getting burnt the first time didn’t hurt. It did. Yet we humans seem to have short memories, and before you know it we are back chasing that same ol’ dog.

The average spectator watching a person make the same mistake thinks the answer is obvious, and it often is, but to “do” the obvious, well that’s another story altogether. It actually takes three very important steps to ‘change’ behavior that has you stuck in repeat mode.

Step One: Knowledge

If you, for instance, touch a hot burner on the stove, chances are that you won’t touch a hot burner again. Knowledge is gained because your belief about the hot burner has changed. Before you thought, hot burners are fine to touch, and after the experience you now believe, touching hot burners brings pain. But knowledge is not enough.

Step Two: Corrective Thinking

If you are going to do something different, you first have to ‘think’ something different. This is the hardest part because if often goes directly opposite of how you typically think about things. Jesus introduced many thoughts that go against our human way of thinking. For instance: Don’t get revenge on the person who wronged you; Give up your life to God and you will gain life; or Love your neighbor the same way you love yourself.

When you take on corrective thinking it will feel uncomfortable and unnatural, because it is. Our flesh has another way of living that is very different from God’s way, but if you want to change a behavior then you will need to find another way of thinking that is different than the previous. But that’s not all.

Step Three: Acting in Faith

This is where the ‘easier said than done’ saying comes from. You might ‘Know’ why your decision didn’t give you the result you wanted. And you might have corrective ‘thinking’ on what will change the dynamic, but unless you ‘act’ on this new way you will default back to repeat mode. It takes real courage and faith to live out this new way of thinking, and friends, counselors, and family who support this new way can play a vital part in your success. Best of all the Holy Spirit that indwells you has promised to give you power. We read in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” This means that we don’t have to repeat the past, with God’s all surpassing power we can make tomorrow’s choices different and better than ever.


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