A Lasting Change: Four Steps to True Change

According to Jay Adams, there is a 4-step “Biblical” process for change in that there is a need for teaching, conviction, correction and disciplined training (1986). Just as there is a 4-step process for change in a “Christian’s” life, there is also a 4-step process for change in anyone’s life. The teaching is necessary to impart tools for change; when one of our client families come in seeking help, they need to be equipped with proper tools such as work, education, skills and even food for their family. Conviction is their belief that the change is needed, that these tools are necessary. Correction comes when the teachings are implemented, when progress has been made but some slip-ups are expected, and when the heart/person is ready for change, usually following conviction. And finally, disciplined training, which means implementing the successful tools on a daily or situation-by-situation basis until they become habit or instinctual.

What tools are necessary for living a successful life? These are not in any specific order and they are not extensive.

  1. Communication skills – healthy techniques to truly listen and to speak one’s heart.
  2. A knowledge of who the individual is – at heart, in mind, at soul, in spirit, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
  3. A knowledge and certainty of one’s place in one’s community – where do you fall in your immediate sphere of influence?
  4. Love. Love without expectation or demands. Love for self, friends, family. Love for others. Love.
  5. Creativity.
  6. Capability.
  7. Desire to learn, to grow, to know more and to understand.

Communication skills range from being able to listen to the spoken word to picking up on the words that are not spoken, to reading body language, to speaking words and talking with a person instead of at a person.

Knowledge of the self requires introspection: who, what, where, when, why, how – and is not limited to just these questions. “Who am I? Who am I to my friends, my neighbors, my colleagues, my family?” “What is my purpose in life? What are my dreams? What are my goals? What is my reality? What are my expectations?” “When do I want to achieve my goals? When do I want to be my best me? When do I want to be someone different?” “Where am I headed in life? Where do I go from here? Where do I go to achieve my goals?” “Why do I want to change this behavior? Why do my friends tell me I’m rude or different or that I need to change my line of work? Why am I unsatisfied in….?” “How do I change? How do I become the person I want to be?”

The knowledge of one’s place and certainty is hopefully a result of the introspection. Otherwise, your place is that of a responsible citizen in a community of individuals.

Love – giving of yourself, freely, completely, serving without reservation. Acts of kindness and good deeds without expecting anything in return. Doing something for someone even if you don’t like them – especially if you don’t like them!

Creativity – using your imagination to set goals, to achieve those goals, to create something new to you and wonderful – to you, for you.

Capability – having the skills, the education, the desire, the knowledge to do something – and seeking after these things to better meet the change you seek.

Desire – desire to be equipped with the tools, desire to change, desire to grow, to learn, to know. Desire.

Are these tools necessary? Are they limited? Are there more? Join us as we explore the answer to these questions, and to the question of “how to change”.
Adams, J. (1986). How to help people change. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI

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