Our lives can inspire others to make lasting changes. But before we get into that I need your help for just a moment.
I need you to think back to a time when you made a lasting change. I’m sure you’ve made one, so just take a moment now to think about it.
Do you have it?
If so, cool. If not, just pause for a moment longer to get it in your head.
Now, as you think about the change you made, I’d also like for you to think about what led up to your change. What was it? What was your motivation?
- Did you decide to eat healthier foods because a doctor told you that you’d die?
- Did you decide to eat healthier foods because you wanted to look and feel better?
Of course, your change might not have been health-related. But you can apply the same basic questions.
- Was your change motivated by fear or discomfort?
- Was your change motivated by desire to achieve?
- Did something scare you?
- Did something inspire you?
Fear and discomfort can both be excellent motivators. At least short-term.
Think about it for a second.
How many drivers become truly law-abiding citizens once they realize the police are enforcing speed limits? How many people stop doing things that ruin their marriages or health when things get bad but then go back to the way things were once things are “better?”
How about you?
Or how about me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made changes because I’d become uncomfortable. And then made the same changes again. And then again, again.
The problem is that once we’re back to our previous equilibrium – all things are normal again – there’s no reason to continue the hard work of changing.
Inspire to Aspire
In contrast to fear and pain, where we’re trying to get away from the current reality, having a model to inspire us to become or achieve is a powerful motivator.
For example, while some diet plans tell you to take a “fat picture” and keep it with you as a motivation, others tell you to find a picture of some who inspires you and to keep that with you as an aspirational goal.
While it seems like the net benefit – exercise and eating right – is the same, the scenarios are entirely different. Because one has a defined goal to reach and the other has only the drill sergeant of fear barking at your heels.
You can be that Inspiration
The same applies to discipleship.
For sure, people come to know Christ because they fear hell – and rightly so. And God can and does absolutely use that. But, conversely, if the goal of our lives is to glorify and (by) enjoy God forever (thanks John Piper), then there’s a goal to become like something (or someone).
And you, as you grow in Christ and your passion increases and your joy becomes more and more full and you are consistent in the good times and the bad times, people notice. They see how you are.
And some of them might just come to want the peace, joy, love, and hope you have.
That’s when Christ in you inspires them.
What I Want for You
I want for you to realize that God can make you into the kind of person other people want to be like. The kind of person that others admire (even if they don’t understand). The kind of person who’s consistent and full of hope. The kind of person whose life will inspire others to grow and become more like Christ.
And the kind of person others aspire to be like.
This isn’t my Idea
While I’d love to take credit for this idea, it actually came from Regi Campbell, who wrote About My Father’s Business (Amazon link). I’d highly recommend you get this book and read it. There’s so much more in there than just this one idea I presented.
Now for the Question:
Is there one person who has inspired a positive change in your life? Who, and how?