What Everyone Wants But Few Experience

There is something everyone wants more than money. There is something everyone desires more than fame. In the quiet place of every human heart, lives this universal desire:

Transformation.

Everyone wants the ability to change. If we experienced change based on intentions or desire, we’d all be who we want to be. But that isn’t the way transformation takes place. You can’t buy it. You can’t wish it into existence. You can’t be famous enough to attain it. Your intentions will never be good enough to make it happen. Transformation is illusive. Everyone wants it, but few experience it.

Most of us don’t struggle with new sins. There aren’t brand new temptations you’ve never experienced before that threaten to take you out all at once. We get caught up in the same few sins over and over and over again.

If you’re anything like me, your response to your most repeated sin is, “That was the last time.” 

  • That was the last time I use that credit card
  • That was the last time I talk to my wife like that
  • That was the last time I cuss at my kids
  • That was the last time I look at porn
  • That was the last time I flirt with my co-worker
  • That was the last time I hide that purchase from my husband

“That was the last time” become our famous last words.

Why don’t we change? Why do we repeatedly make promises that we have every intention of keeping, but don’t? Why do we desire to be different but only experience incremental transformation?

Here are three things I’ve seen in my own life that have prevented me from experiencing transformation.

1. Sin Management

There have been seasons in my life that I’ve convinced myself I can manage my sin. I can deal with it. It’s not that big of a deal. No one is getting hurt. No one knows about the secret struggles I have. I can handle it. I can stop anytime I want. Transformation only takes place in our heart as we submit all our life to Christ. Keeping parts of our heart hidden, trying to manage our sin puts a lid on the amount of change we are capable of experiencing.

2. Insecurity

What keeps most of us from changing and has held me back so many times in my life is my own insecurity. What will others think about me? If I admit I”m in debt, what will people think? If I confess my porn issue, how will my friends react? If I seek help for my anger management issues, that will change others’ perception of me. Insecurity causes us to pretend that we are more put together than we really are. Fake people don’t change. Insecurity always kills transformation.

3. Pain Avoidance

I like avoiding pain more than I like change. Change usually always requires pain. In fact, most of the seasons of transformation in my life have been initiated by tremendous pain or discomfort. Personal failure; Financial hardship; job transition; marriage problems; relationship issues. When begin to value avoiding pain more than we value transformation, we are guaranteed to stay the same.

I bet you want to change. You want to be different. I know that is the desire of your heart. You want a different marriage. You wish your relationship with your kids was different. You want to stop whatever it is you can’t stop. I do too.

Transformation is possible. There is a cost involved upfront…but the payoff is priceless.

9 Responses to What Everyone Wants But Few Experience

  1. “Change ususally always requires pain.” Makes me think of this great scene in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce where a man is plagued by this thing on his shoulder. It’s attached to him and when asked if he wants it removed, he says no because he thinks it’s going to kill him to have it removed. When he finally relents, he experiences pain in the removal and the being doing the removal says, “I never said it wouldn’t hurt. I only said it wouldn’t kill you.” I think that’s a pretty common response to deep change. When it hurts, we think it’s going to kill us, but through the painful changes, we become more than what we were. Which is what happens to the man/creature in the story. (I’m not retelling the story well, but it is an image that hasn’t left me since I read the book years ago.) Thanks for these wise words today.

  2. What a great post. Your 3 points are all ones I went through to before overcoming addiction. I love this “Fake people don’t change.” Our masks just delay the healing that is possible.

  3. pamelahunter

    good stuff. God is speaking this to my heart. and for me it’s all about trust. why can’t I trust HIM? the most trustworthy of all beings. I can’t will this transformation. I know it in my head, but its not yet in my heart. so I keep preparing my heart and maybe someday my head and my heart will meet in the middle.

    • Kara

      This is exactly me as well! Trust and fear is a big part of my issue. I trust God’s promises in my heart. I want to but I don’t when it really comes down to it.

  4. Angie Grigaliunas

    Sooo so true. Thank you. And thank you for your honesty. =)