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Ask Dr. Stanley: Why Should I Change?

God loves us the way we are, but that doesn’t mean we’ve arrived.

Charles F. Stanley December 30, 2022

Knowing that God loved us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8) can be a wonderful and freeing experience. But does that mean good works are meaningless or changing our lifestyle is unnecessary? Today’s e-mail asks:

I’m having trouble with this idea that God wants to change me. He created me and He loves me as His child. But if He’s trying to mold me into the image of Jesus, how is that love? Shouldn’t He just love me the way I am?

Illustration by Gemma O'Brien

God does love you just the way you are. And He loves you so much that He wants you to be like His Son—the perfection of humankind.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. And Romans 8:29 says, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” But none of this means you’ll cease to be yourself.

On the contrary, becoming like Jesus is the only way to become the most authentic version of yourself. The Lord doesn’t want to erase your identity. He wants to liberate you from every sin, habit, perspective, relationship, or belief that prevents you from becoming who He made you to be. 

Becoming like Jesus is the only way to become the most authentic version of yourself. 

In Matthew 16:25, the Lord says, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” If we’re unwilling to change, we have to ask ourselves, What’s really behind that resistance? Perhaps we’re afraid. Or maybe we’re not ready to let go of old attachments and the comfort they provide us. It’s important to be honest about where we really are and to ask for the Lord’s help in moving forward.
God’s best for your life is possible only if you’ll allow His Holy Spirit to work in you. Open your heart—let Him change you. I promise, at the end of this long journey of trusting Him you’ll not only find a version of yourself that’s truer than you could have imagined; you’ll also discover just how deep and endless His love for you really is.

Editor's Note: This Q&A was adapted from an archived broadcast of In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley.

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