The desire for personal transformation can look different to each of us, because inner transformation affects different areas of our lives. Being transformed usually involves spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. We address the areas we’re stuck in, making the needed changes as we walk with God. This sounds easy enough, but in reality, inner transformation takes time, perseverance, and courage. In some cases, it’s an uphill battle until victory is realized many years later.
Many of us seek transformation for our current problems. We study, research, and seek help from God and others. We also might reflect on our own history in order to gain new understanding about ourselves.
Some things in life remain the same. We can have the best of technology and information, but often the inner workings of our life go back to what is true and remains.
When we partner with God to be restored, we can develop the courage to walk with Him into this territory called transformation. As we open our heart to His ways, it’s in the journey that He helps us heal so that we can find our transformation.
Here are some basic tips for the transformation journey:
- The quick glance holds no reward. Things of value have to sink in to become part of us. We learn to linger in the truths the Lord gives us from His Word and other Godly sources. If we move too quickly to the next thing, we usually forget the wisdom from the first truth and it doesn’t become part of us.
- You can win if you want to. Some things we have to fight for. This is especially true when it comes to the pursuit of transformation. The commitment and the desire must be in our heart: we don’t just wish for it, we take action. With God’s help, we find the courage to push through the obstacles while making changes in how we do life.
- A teachable heart can hear. As we age, we can become prone to being stuck in our ways. We may say to ourselves, “Well, I’ve always done it this way.” But personal growth is a lifelong journey and we can be open-hearted to guidance at any age. If we want to know about an area we don’t know much about, we can find someone who’s seasoned in that area and learn from them. A mentor will help us navigate new horizons, and see things from a different perspective than our own.
- Respectful love is different than dysfunctional love. We often define love through how love was modeled to us in our growing up years. These are the years where we develop personal filters about what love is. Sometimes our filters are inaccurate. We might confuse love with pity. Understanding respectful love opens the door to transforming how we give and receive love.
- Our conversations help us to understand. Listening to people and their opinions doesn’t mean we have to agree with them, but we can understand them. If we don’t agree, it doesn’t mean we have to burn bridges unless someone has communication patterns that are consistently harmful and toxic. Looking at conversation this way gives dignity to others as well as ourselves.
- Implementing boundaries. Some of us grew up in families that had no boundaries, our relationships were enmeshed, or the boundaries were unhealthy and punitive. Some of our pressing problems come from misunderstanding boundaries, and we fear saying “no”. When we have no personal limits, we tend to lose who we are. Maintaining healthy boundaries is a way of showing respect for ourselves and others.
- Forgiveness. C.S. Lewis said, “I sat with my anger long enough until I realized her real name was grief.” Facing our underlying emotional hurts and infractions is hard. Forgiveness doesn’t take away all the feelings that are associated with having been violated. It doesn’t minimize, forget, or make excuses for what occurred. It also doesn’t make us a welcome mat for someone’s continued infractions. Instead, forgiveness cancels the debt owed due to the hurt caused us. We put our vengeance into God’s hands and begin the process of healing and understanding. We learn that forgiveness can be a process of letting go−in same cases, this takes time (depending on the injustice). As we give the gift of release to others, we also grow in learning to forgive ourselves.
- God brings a messenger. Some people are placed in our lives to teach us something new. Unfortunately, our human nature generally likes the familiar. If we relish the familiar, then we might reject the messenger and the message that God has sent to us. Of course this takes discernment because some messengers can take us into extremes and a bad path.
- God uses prayer to change things. There are different types of prayers. Having a relationship with Christ is deepened through times of prayer, worship and meditation on His Word. These are the times where His nuggets of truth become imparted to our spirit and heart, which strengthens us to pursue and apply His transforming ways.
When it comes to transformation, these are just a few tips that can foster lasting results. Even though there are numerous tips not listed here for inner transformation, these are the significant ones I have found helpful for my journey. I hope they are a blessing to you too.
If you’d like to explore these tips further, you may like my workbook Unlocking the Wounded Heart, which gives an organized format for sorting out hurts that have caused problems in our lives.
This is beautiful, Priscilla. Thank you for sharing your journey.
Hi Lynn, thanks so much for your kind words. Blessings to you and yours!