Change Requires Honest Community
By Rick Warren
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body” (Ephesians 4:21-25 NLT).
To change the unhealthy habits in your life, you need people who tell you the truth. You’re not going to get well on your own; you’re going to need other people in your life. You’re going to need support. You’re going to need a small group. Change requires honest community.
You’ll never change some things in your life on your own — typically, the things that are the most difficult in your life and the things that you don’t want anybody else to know about.
You’re never getting over those things until you share them with someone. You don’t have to tell everybody. You just need to find one person who will trust you and whom you trust — someone who will be confidential, love you unconditionally, not be judgmental, and pray for you. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.
This does not mean a small group where you get together on a superficial level and everyone is “fine” or “doing great.” You have to get to the level of maturity in your small group where you can say, “I had a tough week. Life stinks. Here’s what happened.”
“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body”(Ephesians 4:25 NLT).
If you’re a believer, you’re also a belonger. You belong in the family of God, and every other believer belongs to you. You cannot become until you belong. You can’t become what God wants you to be until you belong in a group that’s going to pursue gut-level, honest community. Put away falsehood. Talk to your neighbor. Tell your friend the truth, because we belong to each other.
If you are serious about changing the deepest hang-ups in your heart and the deeply entrenched self-defeating behaviors in your life, you must face the fear of being honest. You’ve got to stop faking it. You’ve got to put away falsehood. You’ve got to be real.
You can go through life either pretending like you’ve got it all together or getting it all together. But you’ll never get it all together as long as you pretend you’ve got it all together. And you’re never going to get well, get healed, get rid of that area that’s hindering you in your life until you talk to somebody about it.
Talk About It
How would you describe your small group’s level of transparency? Are you “real” with each other?
What has been the result of pretending like you have it all together? How do you feel?
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Prayer is a simple concept. It’s just a conversation with God.
But at the same time, prayer can be intimidating. After all, you’re talking to the Almighty! It can be hard to know how to ask for your requests, and anticipate how God will answer.
That’s why Rick Warren’s just-released resource called Experience God’s Power Through Prayer is so powerful. It’s not a passive book to simply read, but an interactive, guided experience to help you gain confidence in your prayer life.
Experience God’s Power Through Prayer shows you how to…
• Develop a daily habit of prayer
• Pray expectantly for yourself and others
• Trust God to answer your prayers
• Understand the benefits of memorizing Scripture
• Express your gratitude to God
• Cultivate a courageous faith
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Thank you for making an eternal investment!
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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