Why Can’t I Change?

Erik Cooper —  January 9, 2012 — 2 Comments

Have you quit yet? You want to, right? But you prepaid for that first month, so you gotta stick it out at least a few more weeks before you can quietly bury that impulsive resolution in its February graveyard.

I know. I’ve been there, too (a lot). Why do we torture ourselves with these annual empty promises of self-improvement? (Isn’t the credit card bill from Christmas enough shame to bear the first month of the year)? Why do we set ourselves up to fail?

Because our deficiencies are obvious. We want to change. To be better. Healthy. Whole. Secure. Happy. Connected.

So every 1/1 we toss a little confetti in the air, drop a crystal ball, and pray the annual re-emergence of Ryan Seacrest will finally give us enough inspiration to change. Then we bow to the idol of “should.

I should lose a few pounds.

I should save for retirement.

I should spend more time with my kids.

I should be more open and vulnerable.

I should go to church more often.

All good things. All noble goals. All immediately classified unsustainable by the broken motivation called I should. Our efforts change, but who we are rarely does.

Here’s what I know:

IDENTITY: You were intentionally created by God (I don’t care if your parents meant it or not), meticulously woven together in your mother’s womb, each day of your life written before one of them came to be (Psalm 139). You were made with unimaginable creative potential for the express purpose of bringing honor and glory to the Creator. To be the aroma and expression of His love and life in this world.


SIN: Your forefather (and mother) had a fruit fetish. A desire to go their own way. And they saddled you with a massive burden called sin (don’t be too mad, if Adam & Eve hadn’t done it, you’d have gladly done it on your own). You were born into it, and you wear it like a 100 pound weight around your neck.


WOUNDS: If that wasn’t bad enough, other sinful people have taken whacks at you. Abused you. Abandoned you. A parent. A friend. An ex-husband. Fill in the blank. You’re bleeding out. You’re missing a limb. You believe lies about yourself and about God.

And amidst this weight of sin and wounds of this life, you once again make your annual attempts to fix yourself. You can barely stand up straight, and yet you think you can resolve your way to transformation.

Here’s the Good News: Jesus already finished for you what you couldn’t even begin for yourself. (Galatians 3:2-4)

He came to take your sin. To heal your wounds. To remove you from the brutal prison of failed self-improvement called I should. To help you become who He always intended for you to be.

I highly suggest you start there.

2 responses to Why Can’t I Change?

  1. Great stuff!! What a great way to start a new year.

    I read this quote by Rob Bell, “I refuse to let what someone did to me in the past affect my future.”

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Obligations to “Should” | Beyond The Risk - Erik Cooper - January 12, 2012

    […] on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginEarlier this week I shared some thoughts on why change is so difficult for us. Our own sin and the wounds of others weigh down and swallow up the beautiful identity God […]

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