Principles for Personal Change: Truth (by Rick Warren)
“Since you have heard all about Jesus and have learned the truth that is in him, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must put on your new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness—righteous, holy, and true. So put away all falsehood and tell your neighbor the truth because we belong to each other. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.”
Ephesians 4:21-27 (NLT)
Who is the truth? Jesus, and because Jesus is the truth, he will always tell you the truth.
The secret to personal change is not willpower. The secret is to know and face the truth. You must know and face the truth about yourself, your relationships, and your own nature.
Nothing will change in your life until you know and face the truth about your weaknesses, your relationships, your successes and failures, and your past and future.
Nothing changes until you know and face the truth. And that truth is found in Jesus Christ.
Why is it necessary to learn the truth before anything can change in your life? Here’s why: Behind every self-defeating habit in my life is a lie that I believe. If you get in debt, it's because you believed some lies like “I can spend and get away with it” or “I can always pay it back.” You might have overestimated how much you were going to make, or you believed the lie that you needed a much bigger house.
But do you? Are you sure it's the truth? Can you prove it's the truth? Are you absolutely certain that what you believe you've said about your finances is true? What about your relationships? What about the things you say to yourself about yourself? Is the way you think about your past or about some event the truth, or is the truth what God says about it?
The Bible teaches that personal change starts with truth. It is the truth that sets you free. The apostle Paul says, “Since you have heard all about Jesus and have learned the truth that is in him …” (Ephesians 4:21 NLT). Who is the truth? Jesus, and because Jesus is the truth, he will always tell you the truth. His word is the truth. The Bible is his word and that means the Bible is truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Now, what you hear on television isn't always going to help you because it's not always the truth. Have you learned that? And what you read in books isn't always the truth, but what God tells you is always going to be the truth. God's Word shows you how to get back to the life you were created to live, and then it shows you how to stay on God’s path.
This is why it is so important for you to have a daily quiet time in the Word of God: change requires learning the truth. Nothing will change until you get the truth into your heart. As long as you build your life on a foundation of lies, misconceptions, deceptions or half-truths, you will never change. But when you face the truth and respond to the truth, you will begin to see change in your life.