Habit Change or Heart Change

If I want people to remember something, I make it into a story.

Deep transformational learning takes place through story because it evokes personal identification with the topic at hand. (I have even been known to turn Pythagoras’ theorem into a tantalizing tale).

I want people to remember that life is always better with Jesus and I’m thankful for the fabulous story already authored by God… No need to make anything up.

We all want our lives to be better. But there is a key difference between behavior modification and spiritual transformation.

Personal development strategies and wholeness endeavors such as meditating, maintaining a great diet, gratitude, generosity, mindfulness and self-compassion are all popular topics right now – These are excellent endeavors! But they are empty without Jesus.

Personal development without the author of grace is nothing but striving and will disappoint in the end.

I recently gathered around a table to delve into a rich piece of grace through a Voskamp study, 1000 Gifts. We all want to taste real peace that comes through grace.

One woman began sharing about personal development and the peace that comes by practicing healthy habits, living organized, determining priorities and living authentically and courageously! She is a talented and lively life coach!

We began to discuss how these things are good – but if not coupled with the Gospel – they are empty and regimented. The scandalous grace story is the game changer. It cracks hearts open and morphs desires, motivations, and brings the experience of fullness and love that comes directly from Love Himself. This is lasting peace that doesn’t depend on the maintenance of behavior change or scheduled habits (Although the experience of God’s Love births discipline so we can develop healthy habits!)

When we live a grace rich life, we can enjoy the journey of personal growth knowing full well that the destination of wholeness has already been reached By Christ’s nail-torn hands.

It Is Finished, He whispers with absolute certainty.

When I understand this,

I learn for the sake of learning.

I play for the sake of playing.

I work for the sake of serving the One I love.

This true grace story has captivated the world for centuries, continues to ravish the globe and break unbelievable barriers. It’s power spreads from one human heart cracked open  to receive and spread the Christ story.

This is the Gospel life and once it is found it cannot be stolen. I cannot smear or smudge the perfect way that God chose to save me. Neither can you.

It is finished.

Out of this story flows every personal development and healthy living plan you will ever find. God desires wholeness for all, and has given instructions telling how to develop a well-ordered life and experience wholeness – but we must not dissociate the plans and strategies from the Great plan-maker and strategy builder.

Keeping glued to His Grace Story is what keeps and preserves a soul-life. From this vital connection, all else flows.

Motives

Why do we do what we do?

A personality test won’t answer this question. Our motives are deep and lead us to God. The most important question you can answer is this: Are you motivated by the love of God?

When I was twelve, my mama gave me a recording midi – a device for recording music. Unfortunately, I didn’t work to understand the little beauty, and it sat on my shelf for years! What a waste.

Had I worked to understand the gadgets, gizmos and tricks of the small powerful device, I would have made the most of it – but I chose to maintain my current knowledge instead.

Each one of our lives is like the little midi. We need to understand what drives us, and what motivates us to live a full life at our jobs, schools, and in our families and communities. What is the force behind the decisions we make and the actions we take?

A personality test or gifting assessment won’t reveal motives, and won’t necessarily point to freedom in God.

Understanding our motives leads us to Jesus, and is paramount if we want to be the best versions of ourselves spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically, as Jesus intends.

Mirror Mirror YXE exists to inspire and equip people to live motivated by this life-transforming truth: You Are Loved. You are loved from the cross to the grave and back! If this mad love is your motivation, you will have identity, belonging and impact – and this will lead to the good life God intends in every area of your life.

Everyone searches for Identity, Belonging and impact.

Identity Whatever you do to find identity…. Do you do it ….

Because you are trying to be someone or appear a certain way? Or because you know who you are and what your mission is. You know you are loved.

Belonging Whatever you do to feel belonging… Do you do it….

Because you are trying to find acceptance from the people around you or because you know you belong in the heart of God. You know you are loved.

Impact Whatever you do to have impact/purpose…. Do you do it….

Because you need to do something important to feel important or because you know you are valuable and created by God to live for His chosen purpose for you? You know you are loved.

Do you know you are loved?

Is Father God’s love what motivates and moves you?

On November 9th, 16th and 23rd, Mirror Mirror YXE presents workshops by Greg and Chantal Denie called Motives at Elim Church for youth and young adults. These sessions will lead people to understand their personality and gifts – and most importantly – motivations. As we learn to understand our motives, we are free to change them and root them in the truth: You Are Loved. This heart-shifting change changes lives– that is what the Gospel is all about.

Too often I hear that I am loved. I believe it intellectually. But it is not always what drives me. 

I want to live driven by undeserved love.

I want to be free from pleasing others, striving to measure up, feeling offended, comparing my life to others, feeling hard done by when in fact, I am rich.

There is no greater wealth than the love of the Father.

The best news of all, no one can take this from me –and if you choose to receive it, no one can take it from you either.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38

If you, or anyone you know could benefit from this workshop, there is still room for people to join! Check it out under “Events” at mirrormirroryxe.com!

Fierce Hearted

Early this morning I moved with gym beats while watching the interviews of hockey players on Sports Center. Oh, what it must take to live a life under a microscope. Sports icons spread messages to masses with their words and actions and their fame makes them far-reaching influencers and they can choose how to use it. The recent devastation in Las Vegas is a reminder that darkness encroaches when people use their freedom and influence to damage. As Christians, we carry the light of the world and the shock of the shootings is a reminder to move light into all corners and shadows of the world.

Two things we all have; freedom and influence.

As I kept the elliptical moving this morning, I remembered the retreat I recently attended near the Great Falls of Ontario. As I sat around tables with leaders from across the nation, Author and speaker Holley Gerth shared about living as a public figure and influencer. Holley spoke a poignant message with tear-spilling passion, reminding me of our shared call, as light carriers, to influence.

The title of Holley’s message and new-released book is, Fierce-Hearted.

Fierce means to be “marked by unrestrained zeal.”

To Holley, A heart full of zeal coupled with God’s love is unbeatable, and blazes with true light.

By every standard of success society would use to measure, Holley meets the mark! She is a best-selling author, speaker and life coach and her blog, incourage, is wildly popular! But Holley is a fierce-hearted influencer with a Kingdom measuring stick…

When asked about her successful writing career, Holley’s eyes were pricked by tears and passion – the kind that begins deep down in your belly and compels you to speak honest words. She said a person should write to serve readers … It is a service; an act of giving – of generosity. It is not about self-promotion or an ego boost. That kind of influencing will always disappoint.

She said, “It is about loving and serving your reader and publisher … it is about stewarding your gifts … it is about generously sharing your heart with people.”

Holley’s words sat with me and spun in my mind. “To have a soft heart in a hard world is not weakness, it’s strength.”

The Gospel spreading founder of the Alpha Program, Nicky Gumbel says there are two ways to live. Either we live in strength for God’s glory or weakness for our own.

He says we give God glory by:

  1. Becoming more like Jesus.
  2. Serving humbly, and sometimes secretly.
  3. Loving people, one at a time.

Sometimes, I complicate this sacred faith journey that is meant to be joy –but Holley’s fierce hearted commitment to be light has reminded me to fix my eyes on the greatest fierce-hearted influencer of human history, Jesus.

So, when the world seems in an upheaval, remember to be fierce and trust,

Greater is He living in you, child of God, than He who is in the world (Paraphrase 1 John 4:4-6).

Check out Holley’s blog at holleygerth.com!