Overcoming resistance is the hardest part of change

Sunday, February 27, 2011

At the beginning of the year I became one of those guys crowding in with the rest of the "new year's" people at the gym. That's me taking your favorite treadmill and bumbling through the equipment. Slowly I'm becoming a regular, though.

The past couple of months of regular exercise have reminded me of the correlations between physical and spiritual health. For me the most crucial step in moving from an inactive to active person was overcoming the resistance of getting started. Responding to this initial resistance can either launch or derail you.

I'm reminded of Paul and the tremendous resistance he met in the earliest stages of his new faith. Not long after his conversion experience, he met with a group of men, the same men who walked with Jesus during his earthly life, to tell them of the change that had come upon him. It appears from the Scriptures they unilaterally looked at him and said,"We don't trust you."

Now imagine walking into a gym and being surrounded by a group of members who push you into the corner saying, "We hear you telling us that there is a change in your life. We can see by the spare tire wrapped around your waste that you need to be in here. But the truth is that we don't trust that you're going to stick to your workout. So instead of clogging up our treadmills and putting the weights back in the wrong place why don't you go ahead and leave now, saving us all some trouble?"

When we initiate change, we often underestimate the various expected and unexpected levels of resistance. The key to successful change, whether it is spiritual rekindling, physical renewal or church revitalization, is coming to terms with resistance.

Any and every change meets with some level of resistance. On its own, your body doesn't want to work out. On its own, your spirit doesn't want to pray. We like to spiritually and physically lounge.

The same day Paul came face to face with this resistance another man locked arms with him saying, "I'm willing to stake my name on his new life."

Sometimes facing resistance means digging deep and pushing. Other times it means relying on someone to come along side you and helping you get going. The difference between being launched or derailed is how resistance is pushed through.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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