Your Changes Follow A Common Pattern
Good thinking helps you eliminate the bad part of a common pattern everyone experiences in life. It may be hard to believe, but your changes follow a common pattern. Once it is stated, you probably will agree with the pattern.
The pattern occurs over and over with the outcome of each occurrence leading either to a life that glorifies God or one that is further self-absorbed.
Your changes follow a pattern that can be stated in three steps:
- I was living this way.
- Then one day THIS happened.
- Now I live my life differently.
On closer inspection of many life changes, you see more detail which sounds like this:
“I was living this way. One day THIS happened … it happened again and again and again … Then it struck me! I got it! Now, I live my life differently.”
That is the standard format of every testimony that you hear at church or any 12 step program like Alcoholics Anonymous.
David and Bathsheba
If your changes follow a common pattern and you see it in others, you should also see it in the Bible. And, yes, you will. There are multiple examples in the Bible. One of the well known examples is King David in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. Go read the story of David and Bathsheba to refresh your memory of the events. You probably know the sin part of the story, but have you read the result of the sin? And, do you remember the encounter with Nathan?
Here is a short version of the story. David committed adultery with Bathsheba. She later came to David and told him she was pregnant. Her husband, Uriah, was away at war, fighting in the army that David commanded. So, David arranged a time for Uriah to come home. He wanted to provide enough time for Uriah and Bathsheba to be together which might hide David’s sin. But, the plan didn’t work. David then gave orders to send Uriah to the front of the battle where Uriah was ultimately killed. He then married Bathsheba to cover up the sin.
David did not confess his sin, so God sent Nathan to confront him. Nathan told David a story of a rich man stealing a poor man’s sheep. Hearing the story aroused David's anger and he said, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!” Then Nathan said, “You are the man!” David clearly understood and said, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
David's Story Fits the Pattern
Let's put David's story into the common pattern:
- “I was living a life that displeased God – adultery, murder, and unconfessed sin. I made some really bad choices allowing my sinful thoughts to lead me rather than doing what was right. All of the choices were wrong, but did not admit it. Worse yet, I tried to cover up my adultery with murder.
- Then one day Nathan came to me and told me with a story and I saw how real my sin was. So, I confessed it to the Lord.
- I experienced the consequences of my sin with the death of one of my sons. But that entire experience gave me the focus to walk closer with the Lord. Now, I am walking with the Lord and when I sin, I confess it as soon as I am aware of it.”
After you read the entire story, it is surprising that God refers to David as “…a man after His own heart…” How could that be? God obviously knows about David's sins and how bad they were.
This is another great illustration that God is vastly different than us. Since He is PERFECT in all that He does, it makes sense to study this event and David's life to try grasp the reason God would be so complimentary of David.
Overall, David's life shows a consistent pattern of believing and trusting God in all circumstances. It ultimately shows even in these horrible sins. How? When he was confronted with his sin, he confessed it. There wasn't any rationalization about his sin. That is a person desiring to please God – a man after God’s heart.
Like the story of David and Bathsheba, your changes follow a common pattern. If you have never written your testimony, use the common pattern! It will work for you.
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