Since first impressions are important, we’re encouraged to ‘dress for success’. But as a redeemed child of God, your first concern shouldn’t be how you look to others, but to God. Just like a mirror reflects your physical appearance so that you can make adjustments, the Bible reveals your spiritual condition and tells you what to do about it.
James writes: ‘Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.’ (James 1:23–25 NIV)
You must spend time each day in the Scriptures; otherwise, you will run around spiritually bare. Paul writes, ‘Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.’ (Romans 13:14 NIV)
As Chuck Swindoll observes: ‘The number one enemy of change is the hard-core, self-satisfied sin nature within you. Like a spoiled child, it has been gratified and indulged for years, so it will not give up without a violent temper tantrum… The flesh dies a slow, bitter, bloody death—kicking and struggling all the way down.’
Lasting change takes place in first gear, not overdrive. So expect occasional setbacks, and don’t let them derail you. When you feel like throwing in the towel, get down on your knees and ask God to help you get back on track. He will do it.