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10
Oct
2017

Willpower Only Produces Short-term Change

Written by YouVersion Bible App  |  Found in: Aligning Our Thoughts

Willpower Only Produces Short-term Change

To change your life, you must change the way you think. Behind everything you do is a thought. Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude. 

God revealed this thousands of years before psychologists understood it: "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts." (Proverbs 4:23)

Imagine riding in a speedboat on a lake with an automatic pilot set to go east. If you decide to reverse course and head west, you have two possible ways to change the boat's direction. 

One way is to grab the steering wheel and physically force it to head in the opposite direction from where the autopilot is programmed to go. By sheer willpower, you could overcome the autopilot, but you'd feel constant resistance. Your arms would eventually tire of the stress, you'd let go of the steering wheel, and the boat would instantly head back east, the way it was internally programmed. 

This is what happens when you try to change your life with willpower; you say, "I'll force myself to eat less ... stop smoking ... quit being disorganized and late." 

And, yes, willpower can produce short-term change, but it creates constant internal stress because you haven't dealt with the root cause. The change doesn't feel natural. Eventually, you give up and go off the diet. 

There is a better and easier way: Change your autopilot; in other words, the way you think. "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Proverbs 4:23
Romans 12:2


Reposted with permission. Original post found at https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/135-rick-warrens-daily-devotional/day/283.