Being Content with Improvements in Character

Young man looking into sky

Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

-John Wooden

Most “life reboot” projects are doomed before they ever begin. Whether it’s the obese middle-aged dude vowing that this is the year he drops 30 lbs or the nominal churchgoer who swears; “this is the year I’m going to read through the bible cover to cover.” Why don’t these good intentions ever get off the ground? Why do stuck people stay stuck people?

Turning Stuck Men into Champions

I think John Wooden nailed it in his life and coaching. He constantly took selfish, arrogant, stuck young men and turned them into national champions. Wooden was a brilliant basketball coach but a better life coach.

A master motivator that knew how and understood the secret to external change began with deep inner transformation. He knew that he couldn’t start with the HUGE idea “Do you guys want to be NCAA basketball champions?” because the answer was too obvious (of course they did) and the roadmap too unknown.

Starting with Simpler Objectives

That’s why he started with simpler objectives that they could control. Character goals like, “nobody will outwork us”, OR “we will dive on every loose ball even if it doesn’t look like we can get it”. These small, measurable, controllable objectives would instill a confidence in the team that would create both an internal, and a corporate, momentum.

entrepreneur-593371_640And so the championship mindset for the large stage (NCAA championship games) was forged in the small championship moments all along the way; Wooden spent lots of time teaching basketball but much more time teaching character.

Investing in Small Victories

It seems to me that the more time we spend fixating on the huge life obstacle we want to change (alcohol addiction, food addiction, co-dependency, sexual addiction, etc.) we rob our energy to build the inner character that increase our odds of victory over such powerful clutches.

What if we stopped vowing “I’ll never do that BIG thing again” and started investing in small victories? Victories like; 10 minutes of Bible reading, less TV and more exercise, finding at least one act of kindness/week that we could put our life into? Now imagine this with me…imagine days, weeks, months and years of consistent character improvement.

A Healthy Individual

Now what do you have? You have a healthy individual who (like John Wooden) is finding that life is best lived and humanity is best experienced when we do the heart work of inner transformation instead of just the exterior veneer of behavior modification.

May you find the joy of life is the small moments in our lives we find deep power through God to change the deepest motivations of our lives.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What impact has the focus on internal change made on your recovery?

About the Author:

Ryan Moffet Family PhotoRyan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.

Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR.

Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 8th, 2015
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