The other day I was in a courtroom to offer encouragement to a friend facing serious legal charges for her drug-related decisions. The judge, who oversaw the county’s drug court program, listened to the details of my friend’s transgressions and offered this advice: “Young lady, if you really want to change, you are going to need new people, new places, and new things.”
I found that wisdom to be profound (it inspired a sermon series with that title!). Change is hard. Worrying less, drinking less, or being selfless in a relationship are some of the biggest personal challenges we face, and the status quo rarely produces different results.
But what if you found some new people, perhaps some friendly and godly people from your church? And what if you found some new places, like a nonprofit to volunteer at where your light could shine? And what if you embraced some new things, a fresh habit like starting your day with the Word and prayer? I can’t guarantee results, but I do know that “faith comes from hearing the message” and those who “walk with the wise … become wise” (Romans 10:17; Proverbs 13:20).
Through the blood of Jesus, we are already righteous and blameless in the sight of God, an identity that frees us from needing the approval of toxic people and the short-term pleasure of destructive habits. Remember who you are through Jesus, and you’ll be empowered to embrace all the “new” that God wants you to do.