Little by little
Lasting change doesn’t come through human effort, frustration, self-hatred, guilt, or beating ourselves up over our failures. It comes from having our mind renewed daily by God’s Word. If we read the Bible consistently, we’ll grow spiritually. As our minds are filled with God’s promises and we start to believe what He says, we’ll gradually begin to change. We’ll start to think differently, talk differently, and act differently. But we have to be patient. Transformation is a process. We can easily become disappointed when we’re still struggling with the same issues and thoughts that we’ve been battling for years. Sometimes we can think things like, ‘If only I didn’t have this problem, I’d be happy’, or ‘If I could get this habit under control I’d be fine.’ We might feel like we’re not changing as quickly as we want to. But we need to learn how to celebrate the progress that we have made. When Moses was telling the Israelites what God had told him about the eventual entry into the Promised Land, he said: ‘When the Lord your God forces those nations out of the land, he will do it little by little ahead of you. You won’t be able to destroy them all at once; otherwise, the wild animals will grow too many in number.’ God knew that the Israelites couldn’t win all the battles as soon as they entered the land, they had to do it ‘little by little’. And that can apply to us too. God knows we can’t deal with all our struggles and battles at once; we have to do it gradually. We have to go through the process, we have to fill our minds with God’s truth and let it transform us ‘little by little.’
Build an extra time of reading the Bible into your day. It might be reading a couple of verses before a meal, or maybe reading it in the morning as well as the evening.