A Change of Beliefs

Twenty-three-year-old Jenny was a pretty Christian young woman with a seemingly pleasant personality. She had loving parents and came from a good church. But she was torn up inside, having never experienced anything but a depressive life. She had bombed out of college and was on the verge of being fired from her job. She had suffered from eating disorders for several years and medical treatment for her problems seemed futile.

I was in the midst of planning an intensive one-month spiritual retreat for some of our seminary students, and somehow I knew that Jenny needed to be there even though she wasn't a seminary student. I invited her, and to my surprise, she agreed to attend.

Shortly after we arrived, I sat down with Jenny privately. "I didn't invite you here to change your behavior, Jenny," I said. "Your behavior isn't your problem."

"I've always been told that my behavior is my problem," she answered, looking a little surprised at my statement.

"I'm not worried about your behavior. It's your beliefs I'm interested in. I'm praying that you will change your beliefs about God and who you are in Christ. You're not a failure. You are a child of God, no better and no worse than any other person at this retreat. I want you to start believing it because it's the truth."

For the first time in her life Jenny had been affirmed as the person of value to God that she was. And she began to believe it. During the next 30 days, a miraculous transformation took place in Jenny. Her circumstances didn't change, but she did.

Too often we try to change our behavior without changing our beliefs. It doesn't work that way. We must change our beliefs before we can make significant changes in our behavior. Nothing will change your behavior more than a true knowledge of God and who you are as His child.

Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers www.ficm.org

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