Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, I asked the question, Are you stuck in a rut? And, how can I break out of rut? We saw that the first step is all about taking responsibility for your own life. And I said there are three lots of people in our world: the accusers—who blame everybody else—the excusers—they have an excuse for everything: My parents made me the way I am—and the choosers.
Choosers are the ones I want to focus on again in this second part. They accept responsibility and Proverbs 28:13 says that a man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. It’s about owning up. So, what are we to do to if we are to move out of a rut?
- Stop blaming others—Who are you blaming for your unhappiness? A husband? A wife? A boss? A parent?
- Stop making excuses—What excuses are you giving for your lack of success?
When we make a mistake, admit it. When we are in a rut, admit it. If I admit the areas that I’m wrong in, this Bible verse tells me, I get another chance. But if I refuse to admit the areas that I am weak in, I will never be successful. I will remain in my rut.
So, the first step in breaking out of a rut is to assume responsibility for my own life. Be a chooser. Not an accuser or an excuser or a loser. Choose to be happy. Choose to be successful. Choose to get out of that rut. Assume responsibility.
2. Believe I can change
This is the second step. Stop saying, I can’t and start saying, I can. Who is right?: The person who says, I can’t and the person who says, I can? The fact is they both are. They both are because attitude determines ability. Here’s a wonderful Bible verse you need to learn and apply: Romans 12:2 (GNT) says, “…let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.” Paul is saying here, Success starts in your mind—how I see myself.
God came to Moses. Moses said, God, you’ve got the wrong guy. I’m a nobody. You can’t use me. I’m a nobody. God came to Gideon. Gideon said, God, you’ve got the wrong guy. I’m the youngest person in the poorest family in the smallest tribe. He had an inferiority problem. God came to Jeremiah and asked him to do a specific job.. Jeremiah said, Hey, God. I’m just a teenager.
It’s typical. When God wants to use us, the first thing we do is to put up excuses and say, I can’t. You’ve got the wrong guy Lord. I can’t do it. And so God has to build our faith first. And we need to let him build our faith to the point where, instead of saying, I can’t, we say I can.
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Mark 9:23 says “Everything is possible for the person who believes.” I can get out of that rut—despite all my past failures. With my reprogrammed mind and my newfound source of strength, there’s nothing that God and I can’t do.
So this is step two—believe I can change. If I don’t believe it then, guess what, it will never happen. I will stay in that rut and rot.
3. Clarify what I really want
If I want to get out of this rut, where do I want to go? If I want to change, what do I want to change? How do I want to change?
We need to know these things because James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all he does.”
We need to clarify—make up our minds. What do I really want to change? What help do I want from God? James also says, “You have not because you ask not.” Maybe I’ve never clarified it and prayed it to God. I could have had that thing ages ago. I could have been out of that rut years ago. Well, I wasn’t. So the time to get out is now.
Writing down goals is helpful. A famous psychologist reported that he had discovered through many years of practice that the most helpful thing that he could do in helping people find happiness is to help them establish personal goals. But a lot of people just don’t know what they want. They are not happy.The only way we ever change other people is by changing ourselves. That’s the hard part.
Clarify exactly what you want in your life.
4. Don’t wait for ideal circumstances
So many people say, I’m going to change but the time just isn’t right yet. I’m waiting for…. And then they have their little excuse. Truth is there’s never a perfect time to make a decision. Seek God’s advice and move on. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.
The wise man Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:4 (Good News Translation), “If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything.” Hey, the farmer doesn’t say, Oh well, it’s not perfect crop conditions, therefore I’m going to wait. It will never be perfect. So, he has got to plant anyway. The Living Bible, same verse, says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
Whatever we are going to do, we have got to do in less-than-perfect circumstances most of the time. If you’re going to do it, don’t wait for perfect circumstances. Because they’re never going to come. Unfortunately perfectionism does a couple of things to us:
- it produces procrastination: It’s not the right time.
- it paralyses potential: If I can’t do it perfectly, then I’m just not going to do it.
That attitude will keep you well entrenched in that rut. In summary, if you want to get out of a rut:
- Assume responsibility for your own life.
- Believe you can change.
- Clarify what you want.
- Don’t wait for ideal circumstances.
Put your personal faith in action. Here’s a little project: ask yourself these three questions:
- What does God really want me to change in my life?
- What is my plan to do it?
- When am I going to get started?
There’s not a better time than right now.