We all know the Christian life is a process. It’s a progression, a moving forward, steadily improving and transforming. But sometimes, it might feel like our progression has stopped and we aren’t moving forward anymore. We can get stuck and not be sure where things went wrong. We might even feel active resistance to being transformed. As uncomfortable as it can be, we need these times to pause and to be reminded that we need God, we need others, and we might need to make some changes.

Why might we feel stuck or feel resistance towards God’s transformation of us? These are some areas you might identify with:

1 // You’re stuck in survival mode

When you are just surviving, it is hard to even think about self-improvement. You’re in a phase of life that is hard. Really hard. There are so many of those phases. Living pay check to pay check. Dealing with a job loss. Coping with a difficult move. When things keep breaking or falling apart and everywhere you turn, there is another thing demanding your attention. You’ve experienced a severe loss. You’re experiencing physical challenges that keep you from functioning like you wish you could.

During these times, it’s easy to look at people who are moving forward with a sense of criticism. As hard as it is, in those phases we should recognize that everyone has hard times, and choose to not be bitter toward someone that seems to be enjoying a good phase of life. We also have to be willing to ask for help. As much as we might not want to be “that person,” we have to realize we are created to need community. It is one of the many beauties of being part of the body of Christ. Letting go of pride to receive help may be the very step you need to begin moving forward again and steadily improving.

2 // You’re stuck in a sweet spot

When things are going well, we feel in control. Then before you know it, you’ve let your guard down. We become blindsided when the perils of life come back around. We should enjoy the good and the easy times in life, but always be fully aware that it is just a phase as well. Beth Moore aptly said, “You are either in the middle of a trial, coming out of a trial, or going into a trial, and then it begins again.” We should not expect life to remain the same and rest in our laurels. During the sweet spots in life, we should relish them, but also be preparing for the hard times. Building up relationships, immersing ourselves in the scriptures, and continuing communication with God with keep you steadily transforming and improving. So, when the hard times do come, you will be prepared.

3 // You’re stuck in fear or comfort

You can know something to be true, and believe with all your heart, but not want to take the action to make the change in our lives, because it would require too much work or involves too much risk. You want to deal with your emotional baggage, but you don’t want to make the time or spend the money on counseling. You want to grow closer to God, but you don’t want to be disciplined enough to read scripture regularly, or pray earnestly, or truly make either a priority. It just doesn’t work that way. You can conquer the fear by reminding yourself that perfect ion isn’t the goal; transformation is. You can find the motivation by focusing on the outcome and begin to seek accountability to keep you on the steady path.

4 // You’re stuck in discouragement

Most people will support you when you feel convicted to improve aspects of your life. However, others may feel guilty about those very issues in their life, but are not ready to improve, so they may discourage you from even trying. When you don’t improve they feel more justified by not making changes themselves. We should not allow our convictions to be stifled to maintain the comfort of others, but in the same token, we should not make others feel guilty for things we are convicted about. The best way to approach this is to remember that we all grow at a different rate and in different ways.

When you get stuck, view it as a pause or a speed bump. Don’t make it a stopping point. Take advantage of the designated time to analyze it and learn from it. Remember, God is not concerned with our comfort, but our growth—growing closer to Him.

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