When People Change

This week, I was reminded of a list I once heard John Maxwell give. The list also appears in Maxwell’s book, Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work (which I wrote about it 2008).

Maxwell says there are three times when people are willing to embrace change, when they …

  • Hurt enough that they are willing to change.
  • Learn enough that they want to change.
  • Receive enough that they are able to change. (47)

All of us are at different points at any given time, with varying levels of receptiveness to change. According to Maxwell, people are most open to change when they’re hurting, learning, or receiving.

Being at any of these points does not guarantee change, of course. People don’t change simply because they’re hurting, but they should, at least, be more open to change.

For communicators, the challenge is to communicate with the goal of life change, making sure that people (especially people who are hurting) are learning and receiving so that they may be challenged and equipped to change!

The most radical change in life is spiritual change. Spiritual change happens when we repent in response to God’s grace. Repent means to return, to turn around, to change your mind. The Apostle Paul wrote …

So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived! (1 Corinthians 5.17, CEB)

Where are you in this process. Are you hurting, and need to make some changes? Or are you learning and receiving so that you want to change?

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