Never Count Yourself Out

change-is-possible

Have you ever read a stewardship parable (like the Parable of the Minas) and it made you feel guilty? Instead of identifying with the good stewards, you found yourself having more in common with the bad ones – you know, the ones that were called wicked and were punished severely.

Sometimes the bar can just seem so high. And we fail again and again. And again. And again.

We’re stressed. We’re worried. We’re proud. We’re self-sufficient. We’re lazy. We’re too busy.

And we may start to think we’ll never change. What’s the point in trying?

You Must Believe

It’s important to believe that change is possible.

If you believe that you can’t change, you won’t truly be capable of putting in the effort needed. When the going gets tough, you’ll act in a way that’s consistent with your deep-down belief.

Instead of prayer and striving, you’ll throw up your hands and quit.

Change Is Possible

And we can absolutely believe that change is possible – because that’s the truth. Change is possible with God.

In Matthew 19, Jesus was commenting on a rich man whose abundant resources caused temptations. Temptations to be prideful. Self-sufficient. In love with the world.

But Jesus also told us that fighting off this temptation was possible… with God: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

In Genesis 18, the Lord promised a child for Abraham, remarking “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

If God took a self-righteous murderer and turned him into an apostle and evangelist, he can change us as well.

Faith

Looking at your problems and fatalistically giving in is not a comment on your strength. It’s a comment on what you think about God’s strength.

You can never count yourself out. You can never count others out.

Change is possible because God is God.

So let that drive you to prayer, dependence, effort… and to change.

Photo Credit: r. nial bradshaw (Creative Commons)

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  • http://countingmyblessings.com/ BlessingCounter – Deb Wolf

    So much truth here Loren. Too often “I try” to change, but it really is about leaning in and trusting God to make the changes He wants to see in my life. Then change isn’t trying it is allowing and it will happen. As always it’s a heart issue isn’t it?

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      I think it is an active process, but the motivation behind it is crucial. That affects everything like you’ve said.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    I am studying Jonah for a teaching I’m doing next week, and this truth is definitely found there. Change is not only possible, it’s possible in what seems like the most lost of people and places. What I’ve come to believe is that while I don’t always (ever?) really believe people can truly change, I do always believe that God can change anyone.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      It’s a convicting thing to apply it to the individual for sure. It’s one thing to believe the concept generally but when we look at someone and have to apply it to them, then it seems more real to me for some reason. More challenging but more inspiring.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    I like the simplicity of this statement “Change is possible because God is God.” For me I find that change is difficult because ultimately I don’t really want it, I say I want it but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want it. I find that I have to let God work on my desires, it’s when my desires begin to align with His that change really becomes possible.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      You want it but you don’t want it – so true! I think Paul said something similar 🙂

  • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

    I agree that it’s important to believe that change is possible. Can you imagine what your life would be like otherwise? You’d feel stuck and as if your life had come to an end. If nothing else could possibly change, you’re the person who you are. Growth is an important part of being alive. Even though I like who I am today, I still want to change and grow as a person. Without that, I don’t know what I would do.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Great comment, Steve! Can you imagine what it would be like if it weren’t this way? Great perspective!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    We can’t count ourselfs out because God never counts us out. Great post!

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Thanks, Dan.

  • http://dbartosik.com/ David Bartosik

    I always wonder Loren is there a time to count yourself out??? Life, maybe its just not the right fit? How would you encourage someone to find THAT line?

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      I think there’s a difference between counting yourself out and transitioning to another path. It may seem like a small difference, but that’s a big mindset shift.

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    This gives all the perspective you could ask: “It’s a comment on what you think about God’s strength.” Well said.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Thanks, Skip! It comes down to faith!

  • Joshua Morgan

    Thank you.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      You’re welcome. Thank you for reading!

  • http://billgrandi.com/ Bill (cycleguy)

    Hey Loren! Saw you on Kari’s blog and didn’t know you were still doing the “blog thing.” Miss hearing from you and thought you had just given it up.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Still doing it, haha. A lot to share someday about what I’ve been up to. 🙂