by Pamela Christian @plchristian
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a hew creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB
Breaking a pattern is not an easy task. Patterns in our lives are developed as we repeatedly experience a certain sequence of events. Because patterns are so familiar, we are not usually conscious of them until something crashes against it to expose it for what it is.
For me, as a young woman seeking to find the love of my life, the pattern was feeling attracted to men who were very much like my dad. On the surface such a quest might seem admirable. However, my dad was abusive, alcoholic, and unfaithful. Because of my experience growing up in this environment and knowing none other, it was familiar to me. So, without any objective thought, I found myself attracted to men who were also abusive, alcoholic and unfaithful.
It wasn’t until I experienced the heartbreak of a third chaotic relationship that I realized I was the one bringing this heartache upon myself. My reality was illuminated with Proverbs 11:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (NKJ). I finally realized I needed wise counsel to help me break this destructive pattern.
It took three years, but I gained a proper self-identity through learning my value in Christ. I learned we all seek to operate in the familiar, which can be a good thing, but in many cases is harmful. The transformation of my life through wise counsel has been gloriously overwhelming.
I learned each of us are made in the image of God, yet every one is unique. It’s similar to the facets of a diamond: every individual is yet another facet of Him, with our unique splendor and His radiance shining through us.
Once I learned we are uniquely created, God revealed yet another pattern—the pattern of comparing myself to others. I’d habitually compared myself to other women, which always resulted in dissatisfaction. Whether it was age, weight, style, career, or relationships, whenever I compared myself to others, I always concluded they had “it” better than I.
The proverbial light bulb lit up as I realized since we are each unique, there is no comparison! How can one unique being be compared to another unique being? It’s like comparing apples to oranges.
The tenth commandment is “Thou shall not covet.” When I realized comparing myself to others was a form of covetousness I was taken back. Making comparisons had become a pattern of life without any conscious thought. Comparisons were habitual. To break this pattern the wise counsel of Scripture came to bear.
Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others as better than himself” (NKJ).
1 Corinthian 15:58 “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (NKJ).
Galatians 5:26 “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (NKJ).
Having learned the importance of examining patterns, and understanding our unique beauty and purpose in God’s plan through faith in Christ, not only have I been set free to become all God has created me to be, I cherish helping others discover the freedom for which they long.
About the author: For over twenty years Pamela Christian has compassionately helped people discover and live in, life-giving truth. She is an award-winning author, radio and television host, keynote speaker, and award-winning blogger. She is ordained and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the HSBN International Fellowship of Ministries Apostolic Center, holds a certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, is a member of the International Society of Women in Apologetics, and a Board Member with Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Pam is available to speak for your church/organization.
Pam’s book, Revive Your Life! Rest for Your Anxious Heart, will help you to discover life’s meaning and purpose, and enable you to step into a reformation that will change the world for the better. The significant impact you long to make is possible. You can become all you were meant to be.
Join the conversation: What unhealthy patterns have you recognized in yourself? How did you discover them?