by Na’Kedra Rodgers
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here.2 Corinthians 5:17
Over the past few years, I have experienced transformation in both my thinking process and my character. While I’ve always been a nice person, I can sometimes be a little nice-nasty. As a result of my smart mouth, I’ve lived through some hard consequences and learned to change my approach. This kind of self-reflection often cuts like a two-edged sword, but it’s necessary for growth.
It took the experience of watching my circle of loved ones getting smaller and smaller as I continued to bump heads with people. I had to finally get real with myself and say,
“Girl, it’s you. Stop blaming the other person and take some accountability. Recognize when you could’ve handled the situation differently because people and their feelings matter.”
Even though we’ll all mess up along the way, we should be in a constant state of change and evolution. Unfortunately, some people don’t embrace this as quickly as others, believing there is little wrong with them and there’s no reason to change or evolve. They are happy with who they are and how they treat others. While self-care and forgiveness is important, the world would be a nicer place to be if we all committed ourselves to being better than we were yesterday and learned from the mistakes we’ve made, admitting the damage we’ve done to others.
That’s the pruning process. Doing the work. The hard stuff. Looking inside of ourselves and asking the hard questions: Why do we keep having failed relationships? Why can’t we get along with people? Recognizing where we struggle allows us to identify where we can be better.
Going through this pruning process led me to write my book, Kneeling Earnestly for Transformation: A 30 Day Devotional. After recognizing I needed to change for the better, I knew I wasn’t alone in battling these issues, so I wanted to provide the tools and roadmap God’s word provided me as a way to help others struggling with similar situations. This process of becoming didn’t happen overnight. It was and is a daily struggle; a physical workout, or so it often feels; however, with God’s help, it is possible to turn things around and be better people than we once were.
We can be quick to listen and slow to speak.
We can be genuinely concerned for others without expecting anything in return.
We can learn to totally depend on God in good times and bad, but it will take some commitment, sacrifice, self-control, and honesty to change our mindsets.
In short, be the change you want to see. Love even when it’s hard. Accept that perfection does not exist. Embrace every day as an opportunity to grow and learn. Acknowledge the wrong you’ve done and make amends. Forgive and move forward. Extend grace to everyone including yourself. Speak daily affirmations over your life until you start to believe it. And keep pressing forward towards the person God predestined you to be.