I have committed my life to personal growth. There have been seasons when it has been easier than others. There were times I regressed. There were other times when growth seemed so easy.

We should always be growing. We are changing whether we like it or not. We are either progressing or regressing, but things are never static. Too often, we do not recognize the change until it has caused us problems.

Recently I was reflecting on some places that were changing in my life. Some of them I have given intentional thought and action. Others seem to be an outgrowth of other places where I am changing. For my 5 Thursday Thoughts this week, I want to share some places I see myself changing the most.

I Am Less Combative

This change point is one I have pursued with intention. Two years ago, my reading introduced me to the enneagram. It is a personality profile. I have taken many over the years, but this one just resonated with me for some reason. I saw some things that explained my personality in ways I had not seen before.

You may have heard me say that arguing was a sport in my family. We still do it for fun. We take opposite sides of a debate and go at it. It doesn’t change how we feel about one another. In meetings, I thought the best way to hash things out was to throw the ideas on the table, have a scrum and see what was left. The problem was that most people do not function very well in that environment.

I also found sport in taking the opposite side of someone’s idea. When others did this to me, they forced me to think more clearly to articulate my point. Most people do not operate like this either.

What I felt was a good way to hash out ideas others found combative and argumentative. I have worked hard on this for the last couple of years. I am not there yet, but I have made a lot of progress.

I Don’t Need As Much Flash

The place I have seen this the most is in my preaching. I used to want catchy titles and fancy sermon series names. Sometimes that is still good. But today, if I am preaching on sanctification, which I am right now, I just want to be straightforward and say this is what we will study. 

I also see this playing a role in two other “F” words: first and famous. I do not need to be first all of the time, and I don’t care to be famous. There have been times when winning was everything. Now another “F” word is more important: faithful. I will talk about that in a moment.

I Have A Dog

I have never been an animal person. I still do not consider myself to be an animal person. But the stars aligned for me to get a dog, and I am glad I did. He is a chocolate lab, and his name is Sam. I am his human. I am learning just like he is. I still don’t want him in my bed, on my furniture, or licking my face. But I love Sam, and he is a great addition to our home.

I Am Conscious of the End

I recently celebrated another trip around the sun. Statistically, I have more years behind me than I have ahead of me. I see the need to be extremely intentional every day with what I am doing and where I am going. I am committed to finishing well. That means faithfulness is more important than first, or famous, or flash. Some days are easier than others, but I am thankful that God sustains me every day.

Our Marriage Is In A Good Season

Marriage has been a journey for Barbara and me. We have been intentional about a lot of things. Some of that intentionality is paying off in this season of our lives. We enjoy one another more than we ever have. We are communicating better than ever. We appreciate our family more. Our home is tested just like yours. That will never end. But our unwavering commitment to one another and to growing in our relationship is a beautiful thing. It is such a blessing that we are investing in helping other couples on their journey.

Where are you changing right now? Is it growth, or is it regression? You get to choose most of the time. Don’t let life simply pass by you. Make daily growth a part of your life. You will be glad you did. 

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