You Can't Rush Transformation:  7 Ways to Be Patient with Yourself (and Others)

You Can't Rush Transformation:  7 Ways to Be Patient with Yourself (and Others)

You Can't Rush Transformation:  7 Ways to Be Patient with Yourself (and Others)

The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to make changes to our lives. Some changes we want to make may include making better food choices and adding more exercise or renewing relationships. These types of changes are worthy goals, but real change requires transformation. Radical change, or transformation, requires time and patience.

There is also a difference between change and transformation. Change is replacing one thing for another and requires us to keep a constant watch on our habits and choices. The effort to make changes comes from the outside. 

Transformation comes from the inside and demands a shift in thinking. As Christians, we are continually transforming to be more like Jesus. Our thinking and our behavior are constantly being transformed. Our outside may change some, but it's our heart and mind that become transformed by God. 

Consider Paul when he was Saul. His outward change came when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. It was an external event causing Paul to seek transformation. Real transformation came when Paul spent time in the desert, learning and letting God transform his heart and mind. The change in Paul's mission and the transformation of his heart and mind took time. 

This year, seek deep transformation over surface-level change. As you allow God to transform your heart and mind, here are seven ways to be patient with yourself and others during the process:

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Jukan Tateisi

1. Give Transformation Time

1. Give Transformation Time

Making significant changes to our mindsets and behavior is a journey with no particular time frame. Your journey and that of others towards transformation are unique. The finish line may be near for some and farther in the distance for others. 

David was anointed king of Israel when he was a boy, the youngest of Jesse's sons (1 Samuel 16:13). But it would be years before he was approved by God and men and crowned king of Israel and Judah. David underwent trials, tests, and training before being transformed into a man after God's heart. Embrace patience with yourself and others as God produces a radical change in hearts and minds. Real lasting transformation takes time. 

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:25)

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/sam mgrdichian

2. Expect Mistakes

2. Expect Mistakes

Some days making progress towards radical change, or transformation, is like peddling backward. You may feel as if you are going nowhere or maybe even going in reverse. Our hearts and minds constantly fight against the desire to give in to what is easy and comfortable, and sometimes those desires win. Failing is part of the process of transformation and real change. However, that is not the end. 

Through our failures and missteps, we grow stronger. Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope...

Notice how suffering and failure progress toward transformation. Through mistakes, endurance grows. We gain the ability to keep going. Once endurance is found, you build character and transformation. Be patient—making mistakes means you are moving forward. 

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/cagkansayin

3. Avoid Comparison

3. Avoid Comparison

As President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Comparing our progress to that of others leads to defeat and frustration. You will always find someone doing something that you want to do better or with more finesse. If not, and you appear to be the standard for comparison, you set yourself up for the invasion of pride. Paul, who had much to boast about, encouraged followers to avoid comparison. 

In Galatians 1:10, Paul writes, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Comparison leads us to measure our progress against other people, to depend on what others say, and to turn away from God's measure of us. Our only standard for progress is God's word, not man's. Patience waits for God and focuses on our personal transformation. 

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/skynex

4. Abstain from Pursuing the Familiar

4. Abstain from Pursuing the Familiar

As mere humans, we crave familiarity. To us, the familiar means safety. When God calls us to a life of becoming more like Jesus, we will face moments of fear and trepidation. Our default will be to return to the familiar, to our old habits. 

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4 about being transformed from the old life into a new life: “…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life ...and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self...” This means leaving the familiar behind and living in a new way. Be patient while seeking transformation and leave the comfortable behind for something better. 

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

5. Receive Grace

5. Receive Grace

When we fail to reach our change or transformation goals, we may want to quit. Failure is a hard pill to swallow. But before you cry, "surrender," consider the failings of God's great servants. David buckled under temptation. Peter caved into fear, and even Moses failed to follow God's instructions. Missteps are part of transformation. So, when you fail, give yourself a break. Accept the gift of grace

Grace is the unmerited favor of God, and it provides everything you need to be what God has called you to be—to be transformed. It is not a pass, nor a do-over. Grace is the acknowledgment of weakness and our need for God's help. 

Paul wrote about his struggles: “but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Our weaknesses and failures present a perfect opportunity for us to receive grace. Grace is all we need and when friends and family also fail to hit the mark, offer the same grace you received in your failures. 

Photo Credit: © Unsplash

6. Expect Unending Transformation

6. Expect Unending Transformation

Have you ever watched a caterpillar transform into a butterfly? It does not happen immediately, nor while you watch, but it does happen. In the same way, transformation does happen within us. We may not see it in progress, but with patience and trust in God, it does happen, and it does not end. 

We will continue to be transformed until Jesus’ return when He will complete the transformation. Philippians 3:21 says that Jesus, “…by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” If you remain untiring and patient in your effort to be transformed, God will give you strength. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Endure until then with patience. 

Photo Credit: © Unsplash

7. Reflect on Your Progress

7. Reflect on Your Progress

When transformation seems far off, and you become impatient by a lack of obvious change, take a moment to reflect. You are probably making more progress toward transformation than you may think. What was your life like before choosing Christ? What does your life look like today? What is different? Is there any part that is still the same? 

Ask God to show you places that need transformation. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

If you continue to have places that require attention and change, God will show you and give you the grace, the strength, and the courage to keep pursuing transformation. 

As Christians, we are told in Scripture to turn away from our old ways and follow the narrow path that leads to becoming more like Jesus. In other words, we are called to transform our hearts and minds. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). 

Transformation is not instant, but a life-long journey filled with missteps and failures. Transformation requires time and patience. Thankfully we are not alone on the road. We are side by side with the One who completes our transformation. 


Tamela Turbeville lives for every woman with a difficult past to know God loves them, they are worthy and wanted. She is wife to Richard, and mother to three grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law. When doing what she loves most-- studying God’s Word, reading and writing--she is surrounded by her six rescue dogs in her small office in south Arkansas. She began Living One Word to write and share how God redeems the unlovable and you can read more about Tamela, her journey, and her family at www.livingoneword.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Colton Duke



About Faith

Be uplifted and find encouragement for your faith with authentic sharing of the ups and downs of life for  today’s Christian female. Read personal experience of faith challenges and how your relationship with Jesus Christ makes an impact on every area of living. At iBelieve.com, we want to help you grow in your personal relationship with Christ and in your daily walk of faith