When you take that step to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, your life changes dramatically. Everything from your interests to innermost thoughts become less self focused and more God focused. But the question is why? Why is it that becoming a Christian changes us so dramatically? Why do we feel the need to change at all?
When I first gave my life to God, I found myself more focused on prioritizing church and Bible studies, than on having a busy social life. Committing my time and energy into spending time with God and other Christians influenced me.
I realized how much a life focused on Christ had to offer and how much joy He could bring me. So my transformation came from spending my time with like minded people and through learning about God's amazing love and acceptance.
Saul of Tarsus
One of the great examples of transformation in the Bible is of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. In Acts chapter 9, verses 1-19, Saul (later known as Paul) was originally known for his part in the capture and murder or imprisonment of the early Christians.
"And asked him to write letters to the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Then if Saul found any followers of Christ's way men or women. He would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem (Acts chapter 9, verse 2).
But while Saul was on his way to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him in a vision and chose him to proclaim His name to the people of Israel.
Saul was baptized soon after and went on to suffer imprisonment, stoning, shipwrecks and hatred as he went from persecuting Christians to suffering alongside them sharing the love of Christ. God was able to change his heart and mindset so he could go on to achieve great things in His name.
When you give your life over to God, your mental state starts to change as you become more aware of what God is like and how much He loves you. Prior to becoming a Christian, I had very low self esteem and focused mostly on having everyone like me.
Even if it meant going against my own wishes and morals. After I accepted Christ into my life, I began to understand how much He loved and valued me and that His opinion mattered more than other people. "This is love. Not that we loved God. But that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John chapter 4, verse 10).
When we start living for Christ and learning about His love and how He wants us to live, our lifestyles tend to change to imitate the life He intends for us. "We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us we would not be slaves to sin (Romans chapter 6, verse 6)."
Many people are able to beat addictions or confront sinful behaviours that interfere with our relationship with God. Sometimes it means distancing ourselves from people or places that have a negative impact on our walk with God.
I stopped worrying about other people's opinions as much, so I distanced myself from social activities that I knew that I was only partaking in to impress others or to be included (drinking etc.) In doing so, my relationship with God was able to grow far more than I expected.
I think that it's safe to say that God changes us for the better when we make the decision to live for Him. We are able to subconsciously alter every part of our lives as we grow more and more in our spiritual walk. A relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is truly a transformation station.