Can people change?
In recent days I have been asked this question several times both by people wanting to experience a change in their behavior and by people wanting to believe someone who has promised to make a change.
My response has been “wanting to change is a great start, but merely wanting to change is rarely enough”. The reality is that if merely “wanting” to change was enough, the change would have already happened. So what does it take besides “wanting”? What I have come to see is that it takes: God, a plan and another person.
First it takes God. If you had the knowledge and the power it takes to make the change a reality, we would not even be having this conversation.
Second, it takes a plan. A path out of old ruts of thinking, behaving and relating and a path to new ways of thinking, relating and behaving. (There are many good counselors and books available where plans can be accessed.)
Third, it takes another person. In some ways we are our own worst enemies. We all need the encouragement, support, and accountability of someone else. Someone with whom we are willing to be scary vulnerable and willing to be held ruthlessly accountable with consequences deemed more painful than the reward we feel in continuing in our old pattern. (I know one guy who created the consequence of permanently giving up his prized, very pricey pen if he acted out again.)
It takes all three: God, a plan, and another person. If you are hoping someone will change but they aren’t willing to step into the afore mentioned triad of change…your hope is most likely wishful thinking and you are only setting yourself and others up for further hurt and disappointment. If you say you are serious about change in yourself…well the same goes for you too.
So can people change? I believe the answer is yes…if they have God, a plan and another person.