Everyone Wants To Be Better, But No One Wants To Change

We all want improved relationships, less hectic schedules, and healthier physiques, but we’d like to get them without rearranging the familiar and comfortable. Can we just get fit eating the same amount of the same food and exerting our present level of energy, please? And how about we get along better without having to invest so much time together? Is there a way for our kids to sign up for everything and for us to be involved in everything without becoming so absent from home and the simple life?

The Apostle Paul actually answered those questions. Here’s his summary in Old English vernacular: Whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Repetitious actions produce familiar results.

We’ve each reached our current destination by following a particular path. If we hope to keep arriving there we don’t alter that route. The interesting thing about humanity is our tendency to point our toes in the same direction and then complain when they take us to the same predictable location.

I particularly love the KJV’s inclusion of “mind the same thing” as an expression of tending to a matter since the mind plays a greater role in our accomplishments and failures than we often realize. The mind is fueled by understanding and the body is steered by the mind.

A man named BJ rose each day at three a.m. to deliver mail in the slums of DC. He despised his location, hated his existence, but required the income to support his wife and daughter. He wanted to return home to the mountains of Western Maryland but had no skills to seek a different form of employment. The position for postman in his small town had been filled. His desperation eventually grew larger than his fear of failure. In an effort to alter his current status, he took a huge risk.

He quit his job, left the city, and headed home with fifty dollars. When he overheard a conversation about a tract of land for sale, he made immediate plans for his remaining cash. He handed all of it over as a down payment on a $1,500 piece of real estate, sight unseen, with an agreement to pay the balance in sixty days.

A trip to the location revealed a stream, its flow dammed by debris. He cleared the stream and the lot, then advertised a peaceful, country setting in a DC paper. Before sixty days expired he sold the land for $4,500. The reward was established. His mind was convinced that he could repeat the action and expect similar results. He minded the same thing buying up property which he sold through DC papers. Five decades later he remains in his beloved hometown having bought and sold more real estate than any other individual in the county. All because he hated his destination enough to find a small affection for change.


The recognition of reward is a powerful inducement for changing our unproductive direction.  It too rests on the cooperation of the mind. Once again, Paul’s take: He that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is not mindless. Believe implies assent, agreement of the mind. Belief comes from persuasion, from conviction. No one will invest a substantial amount of resources into something they have little confidence in. The mind must be invested before time, energy, or money will be. If the reward is perceived as legitimate, the mind will engage the body to an action equal in size to the reward. Big payoff promised, big investment made. (BJ’s first land purchase represented a sacrifice of all he had, but it was still a small percentage of the declared value that was risked. 50:1500)

Paul’s example says those who are willing to invest time and passion into seeking after, pleading before an invisible entity will do so only when they’re convinced of two things. The belief in the invisible God’s existence is not motivation enough to induce the diligence referenced. The mind also requires a knowledge of his disposition as well. It must believe God to be a rewarder, a generous and fair upholder of the laws of cause and effect, and reaping and sowing. Believing this, one will approach God’s courts and spare no passion on their ventures there.

The same principle that prompts ordinary people to pray fervently will also translate to terrestrial matters. Convince any man that an alteration of his course will reap greater dividends than his current experience, and the most uncomfortable, impossible thing happens. He changes.

Carroll O’Conner who played Archie Bunker says the reward of his income kept him away from his home and son for decades. A son involved in drugs early in life who eventually overdosed from their abuse. Following his son’s death Carroll took very few acting roles, investing his time and energy instead into fighting the perceived cause of his son’s death, claiming his son to be the most important thing in his life. When his mind suddenly had convincing proof of the value of the life lost, he altered his investments.

Our health, our family, our relationships receive very little of our time and energy when the perceived reward is small.

Minds can be duped. It’s called brainwashing. Or advertisement. Or peer pressure. Or ignorance. Or greed. There are many ways of influencing the mind to accept a poor investment as a great value.

This presents a necessary mission to the mind, Buy the truth and sell it not, said a wise man. A  mind armed with truth is an indefatigable opponent, an unconquered battlefield.

Here is truth: we can choose a different path to walk, a new habit to live for life, a fresh outcome, an improved tomorrow. We can be better, and we can change.


Leah Morgan

Leah was sidelined from her congressional aspirations when her mother bargained like a politician herself and offered paid tuition in exchange for her attending a year’s worth of Bible College. Leah complied, ended up completing that three year course, and eventually settled for enacting and enforcing laws upon her three children. Her husband, Bonnard, is the President of this union and sometimes of the same party line. They live in an ancient home in a small Maryland town where George Washington probably slept or picked his wooden teeth or something.

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  1. Should auld bad habits be forgot
    Oh wouldn’t that be fine?
    If when we woke up On the First
    They’d all be left behind
    If we could drop those Extra pounds
    Like Lorre dumped Charlie Sheen
    And learn to replace our fossil fuels
    With energy more green
    Wouldn’t it be great My dear,
    Wouldn’t it be fine
    If we would have only good habits
    To last our whole life time?
    If we would all live Just as good
    As most movies now are bad
    Then we’d all be As happy now
    As Cain voters are sad
    But there’s one theory That’s proven true
    Much more often
    Than it’s not If we keep doing What we’ve done
    We’ll stay stuck With what we’ve got
    So if twenty-twelve
    Won’t be the same As was two, oh, one one
    Then you and I must spark Big change A
    nd do what must be done
    Wouldn’t it be great My dear,
    Wouldn’t it be bright
    If choosing all the perfect things
    Was as easy to do as write?

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