Ep. 183 If You Want to Change, Stop Reading Our Stuff

Shows Main Idea – The more accurate title is, “If You Want to Change, Stop Reading So Much of Our Stuff.” More is not better if the goal is to lock sound teaching into your long-term memory bank, which is how transformation happens, humanly speaking.

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Show Notes

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Enough with the Noise, Already

I realize that it seems self-defeating from a ministry perspective to tell folks to stop reading or watching our resources. It’s marketing suicide. But there is a more vital point than “blog stats” and “increased marketing expansion” that I must make here, and it’s this: if you want to change, you must stop feeding your brain with so much information.

The “change process’ demands that you cease from “information overload,” and your mind would be grateful if you backed away from the endless streams of blogs, videos, quotes, and quips that saturate your mind.

The critical point of this podcast came during a conversation that I had with my friend, Chris. He told me how much he loved and benefited from our resources, and then he said, “But I had to stop reading so much of your stuff. I could not keep up with it any longer.”

I’ve heard this comment before from those who felt an unintended pressure to keep up with what our ministry produces daily, weekly, and monthly. His dilemma helped me realize that I have not been as clear as I should be with those who enjoy our resources. Two antagonistic things were intersecting in his mind.

  • We are producing content as often and as fast as we can.
  • He was attempting to keep up with our pace.

Why So Much So Often

The primary reason that I have been producing so much content since the beginning of our ministry in 2008 is that I’m filling up our “sanctification center in cyberspace” for present and future use. Our sanctification center is like a library that is chocked full of transformational resources. I’m building a warehouse for anyone who wants help.

The reason for this worldview is because my “unwritten mission statement” is to take the practical gospel of Jesus Christ to every individual in the world and to live “25 years” after I die. The point of living beyond the grave is that I don’t have enough time in my life to reach every person in the world with the practical message of Christ. Thus, I’m a “content producing machine,” but I do not intend for anyone to keep up with my production pace.

Too Much Too Often

But that is the rub. Some people assume that they must keep up with our “production line.” This thinking is a mistake, as it will eventually lead to disappointment; but it’s worse than that: you will not change the way you want to.

No educator would turn on the “informational firehose” and point it unceasingly toward anyone. Nobody can consume that much “water” no matter how hard they try. The result will be more spillage on the ground than what lands inside the person.

The careful trainer will teach his students better, which brings us to a critical point to remember: pick one thing to focus on and work it into your soul. This perspective is similar to memorizing scripture. Nobody would read endless chapters from the Bible to learn one verse.

No, you take one verse and ask many questions of it while rehearsing it, hoping that through constant practice that the scripture will stick itself into your long-term memory bank so you can retrieve and use it as often as you wish.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:12-14

Turn Off the Firehouse

If you’re the person who consumes too much information and you want to transform your life, I appeal to you to stop taking in so much content. What if you take a little test? What was the ninth helpful thing that you liked on Facebook? Without scrolling through your feed, what was that thing and what is your plan to apply that savory nugget of truth into your life practically?

You do not know, of course. Facebook does more harm to our souls than it redeems, and the addiction continues unabated. People love their “nugget for the day” while they remain the same as they were yesterday and last week and last year. Sanctification takes more work than scrolling through feeds.

Some people want personal transformation the way some want to lose weight: they want to do it without the long-term, consistent, and repetitive work involved in changing.

Do You Want to Change?

Since talking to my friend, Chris, I decided that I would dial back how many emails I send to you each week. For years, I have been sending three eBlast each week. As of this week, I’m only going to send one. This way I will not be hindering your growth in Christ. Here are a few suggestions for you.

  • Determine one vital issue that is important to you that you want to change. What is that thing?
  • Search for articles, podcasts, and videos on our site that will help you in this area.
  • Make use of our free or private forums so we can come alongside you for ongoing assistance. (Get your free username and password.)
  • Ask your friend to meet with you regularly so you both can discuss your process together. If you don’t have such a friend, ask the Father to bring one to you.

How to Study

  1. Pray – Before you start reading, take the time to pray. Ask God to open your eyes to what you are learning.
  2. Read – Read expectantly. God will reveal things to you about yourself. Anticipate this. Look for truth like a man mining for gold. Be alert. Resist reading by rote. Read because you want to, not because you have to.
  3. Reflect – When God illuminates your mind, stop reading and start reflecting. Think about what God is showing you in light of what you just read.
  4. Write – Take time to write down what God has shown you. When your thoughts go from a page to your brain, down to your hand, and onto a piece of paper (or computer), you are probably going to own it. It will be yours to keep.
  5. Teach – Within twelve hours (arbitrary timeframe) tell someone what God taught you. The teacher will learn more than the student; if you can teach what He taught you, it will master you.

No More Surfing, Dude

I appeal to you to amputate any social media app that takes up your time and fills your brain with things that will not stay in there long-term. If you do not do this, you’re hindering the process of learning, changing, and growing. If you can’t do this, you’re addicted.

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