Growing & Changing in Community

“Should I invest money in life coaching or put it towards new clothes?”  The person who asked me this question had just finished describing their need to overcome a longstanding and destructive personal habit.

While it’s always tempting to add to our wardrobe, a new look on the outside will never bring inner growth and desired change.  We often misunderstand how growth and heart transformation take place.  We think that perhaps with more discipline and stronger will power, we can do this on our own.  Sometimes that does work!  But there is a healthier, God-designed way to grow and change.

Earlier this week I was watching a documentary on ‘Breaking the Food Seduction’ and the doctor mentioned as a throw-away comment that it is not possible to change our eating habits on our own.  A little bit of group support makes the difference between success and failure.  A group that meets regularly and shares successes, stories, and challenges, will change their eating habits and their lives!

Some years ago I read the book ‘How People Grow’ by Dr’s Townsend and Cloud.  The overwhelming thought that I came away with is that God designed us to grow in community – with loving supportive and accountable relationships.  God never intended that we run this journey of life on our own, yet we have somehow perfected it through two of our values – individualism and self-help!

One of the things I love about coaching is that it enables people to grow and change in a supportive, safe, loving, accountable relationship.  The coach works with you and wants the best for you.  To this end, he or she will challenge you and ask you difficult and maybe uncomfortable questions. 

Even good friends don’t always hold each other accountable.   Maybe you have friends with whom you can be transparent and who may be willing to ask you ‘What progress did you make on breaking that habit?’  Why not give them permission to ask?  Let’s stop trying to change and grow on our own.  Find someone, whether it is a life coach, a friend, or a mentor, to journey with you.  Let’s not stay stuck on the inside while sporting our new wardrobe on the outside!