Inspiration to Change; Motivation to Act

Calvin and HobbesWe’re 27 days past the New Year. How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions? Do you remember what they were? Have you moved forward, made progress or fallen behind?

It’s seems there’s a difference between the inspiration to make the resolution and the motivation to act. If you’re like me you’re inspired by all kinds of things: a great success story, a new possibility, or even a new tool to help you accomplish your task. These things inspire us. They excite us, but do they motivate us to act? That’s really where the rubber meets the road. Good intentions lead to great resolutions. The motivation to make good choices leads to genuine success.

So often it seems like something prevents us from following through and finding success. The Apostle Paul struggled with this. In Romans 7:15-24 he says he wants to do good but can’t seem to get it done. Instead, he finds himself stuck making the same wrong choices over and over again.

The inspiration to change, the motivation to act; how do we bridge the gap?

I’ve heard it said that people don’t genuinely change until they  HAVE enough, KNOW enough, or HURT enough. I can see that it’s true. Maybe the reason you haven’t yet changed is because you don’t have, know or hurt enough.

  • HAVE Enough – I used to own a small video production company. We started with 3 VCR’s and a TV. Pause, Play, Record. We’d make really poor quality videos using the only tools available. Over time we gathered more gear. Today, I edit digitally using Final Cut Pro, one of the best systems on the market. Video quality is high definition. It’s professional. I have the right gear. I can’t imagine going back to 3 VCR’s ever again.
  • KNOW Enough – A friend of mine lost a lot of weight and told me how he did it. Slowly I began to learn how certain foods affect my body. I exercise marginally more than I used to. Today, I’m 50 pounds lighter. I still eat most everything I want but now I know how to eat it in a way that will keep the pounds off. I don’t think I’ll be that heavy ever again.
  • HURT Enough – My grandfather started smoking when he was 9 years old. That sounds bad, but back in his day it was pretty normal. He smoked all his life till one day he went to the doctor. The doctor told him he had a choice. He could quit smoking and live longer or keep smoking and die. My grandfather laid down the cigarettes and lived another 15 years.

What have you been inspired to do? When will you find the motivation to act? Will you wait till you have enough, know enough or hurt enough before you make the right choice?

If you’re a follower of  Jesus Christ, God is working in you and through you for His good pleasure. The end of Paul’s story is Roman 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” You’re not condemned by God for your wrong choices. His work has forgiven, equipped and empowered you to make right choices.

Because of sin have you HURT enough? As a follower of Christ you HAVE enough. Through Christ you can KNOW enough. What needs to change in your life today?

The inspiration to change; the motivation to act – find life. Choose well.


The ‘-er’ Question

2012. The beginning of a new year. A time for new beginnings. There’s nothing particularly magical about one calendar date rolling on to the next, yet many people find themselves asking the ‘-er’ questions.

  • How will this year be bett-‘er’?
  • Will my job get hard-‘er’ or easi-‘er’?
  • Will the money I make be great-‘er’?
  • Will my lifestyle be healthi-‘er’?
  • Will my relationships be deep-‘er’?

We’re fixated on ‘-er’ questions. They aren’t bad questions to consider. Life will move forward. Where you are right now is the result of answers to last year’s ‘-er’ questions. The choices you make today set the direction for the path you walk tomorrow.

James 4:14 and 17 say, “What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away…therefore, to him who knows to do good, but does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Take inventory. This will be the year that changes everything. The quality of the change is up to you.