“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40 NIV)
There are a lot of things in life that can’t be changed. For example, you can’t change your past or the genes you inherited. With things like that, peace of mind will only come when you accept them.
But you do change the things you can change when your world falls apart. No, you can’t bring back the loved one who died. And no, you can’t change the other person, no matter how much you try. The only thing you can change is you.
You can change your attitude and skills. You can change your character and values. And you can change the way you use your time and what’s important to you.
In order to change these things, you’re going to have to do a self-evaluation, which requires being honest with yourself. You have to admit the areas of your life that are broken: The relationship is broken. The finances are broken. The career is broken.
Jeremiah says, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord” (Lamentations 3:40 NIV). Do a relational inventory, a spiritual inventory, and a moral inventory.
Look at your relationships and ask, “What’s my relationship with my spouse, my friends or my boss really like right now?”
Do a spiritual inventory and ask, “How am I doing in my relationship with God? What’s my character like? How does it match up to God’s Word?”
Then take a moral inventory, asking, “What sins in my life are tearing me down?”
When you start doing these evaluations, you’ll realize you’ve stored up a lot of emotions, like guilt, anger, frustration, grief and remorse.
You’ll need to deal with these emotions in order to have personal recovery in your life. Don’t ignore them and don’t give up on making a change in your life. God is for you, and he will help you you’re your deepest hurts and regrets. Give them to God and listen for what he tells you to do.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life , as well as The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.