Monday, September 5, 2011

Process: The Cost of Change

According to The New York Times Bestseller List, the current #1 title in the category of Advice and Miscellaneous books is The 17 Day Diet. Other popular titles include The 4-Hour Body and 4-Hour Workweek. In a culture moving progressively faster, quick fixes and easy solutions are commonplace.

Such promises for rapid change and swift success are not limited to the area of diet and workout plans alone. Self-help books make similar guarantees, as seen in numerous titles such as Dr. Kevin Leman's Have a New Kid by Friday. We live in a society saturated by rapid change, and even our approaches to therapy and personal growth are affected. Dr. Sandra Wilson identifies this aversion to the long-term commitment to change as one of the most dangerous hindrances to true personal growth.

 In her book Hurt People Hurt People, Dr. Wilson states that authentic change must involve two elements: new choices and consistent practice. While the idea of making new decisions may sound exciting, the concept of change as a continuous process over time is often daunting. Especially within the Christian community, believers would rather God miraculously heal any hurts and instantly change any imperfections without the difficult work of slowly developing in new ways over time. However, true change must involve a slow and often difficult process of growth over time.

So how do we accept this idea of process and begin to practice it in our own lives? I personally believe that this can only be accomplished through a continual reliance on the grace and strength of God, acknowledging that He is continually at work within us. And as we journey together and begin to walk in new ways, let us encourage those around us to commit to the long and often-slow process of true change instead of settling for unhealthy alternatives.


  1. I often find that I change the most when I have people in my life that either force me or encourage me to change. When I think of God's power to help me change, I often think of the Christians he has placed around me. Wilson's book has some great stuff in it and I like how she indicates that change is slow, but I really was happy to see how she encourages community. God works through his church, and I feel that I so often want God's help changing because I would rather not let others know how messed up I am. We not only want quick fixes, but private fixes. That way we keep our pride.

  2. I think you are absolutely correct in that American Society is an instant society. We all desire change, however when it comes to the means to obtaining change we aren't patient enough to wait to continue with it. I think this could pose a problem in counseling because clients who have this mentality of "easy quick fixes" may not be willing to put in the time and effort it takes to see results. Therefore, as future counselors we have to learn how to work in such a society.


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