One Essential Step to Change Your Life

By Chip Ingram

It’s amazing how one little word can completely change a conversation. Multiple times a week we ask one another in passing, “How ya doin’?” and receive a perfunctory, “Fine.” Followed up by a quick, “How about you?”

But recently, a good friend stopped me, looked me in the eye and compassionately asked, “No, I mean how are you REALLY doing?”

I was caught off-guard if truth be told. I had been too busy to give it much thought. But that question, sincerely asked, forced me to think, to reflect, and to honestly evaluate my life.

The superficial gave way to the significant. A casual encounter turned into a life-giving conversation.

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Psychologists remind us that we all avoid facing difficult issues by a technique called denial.

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The writer of Hebrews warns, “Encourage one another day after day, lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

So I reluctantly began asking myself that question: “How are you REALLY doing, Chip?”

How is it with you and Jesus, your priorities, your motives? How deeply are you loving your wife, Theresa? What’s it look like to REALLY love your adult children and grandchildren in this season?

What needs to change? What needs to be celebrated? What’s your unique and best contribution to the ministry? What gets in the way of that? Where have you simply gotten lazy? Where have you pushed too hard?

The results were revealing both positively and negatively. I found myself deeply aware of God’s blessings and goodness as I pondered those questions. But I also had to face my overextended schedule and not enough time to think and be refreshed.

I realized that I needed a new “operating system.”

Just as my computer gets a software update every now and then, so my life at times needs an honest evaluation followed by mid-course corrections, new priorities, and a different schedule along with strong accountability.

So how about you? How are you REALLY doing?

How is your relationship with Jesus, REALLY? How are your family relationships doing? What issues, struggles, or habits need some attention or mid-course corrections? With whom could you sit down this week and openly process the answers to some of those questions? 

For many of you, just the thought of sitting down and answering those questions is discouraging. Perhaps you’re aware that some things need to change but you’re not sure where to begin. Sometimes life feels impossible and hopeless.

The good news is that we’re all hopelessly unable to do anything apart from Jesus (John 15:5). And if the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, then we can be confident about placing our HOPE in Him. So take some time to honestly evaluate your life this week and let the Spirit reveal how you are REALLY doing.

To learn more about life change, check out Chip’s 12-session group study, Transformed.

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

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