Jesus taught that our actions reveal who we are:
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” Mt. 12:33
Dallas Willard states it this way in his book, “Renovation of the Heart”:
“If I do evil, I am the kind of person who does evil; if I do good, I am the kind of person who does good. (1 Jn. 3:7-10) Actions are not impositions on who we are, but expressions of who we are. They come out of our heart and the inner realities it supervises and interacts with.” (p. 39)
I once had to admit that I was a bad person, but now a days I find God’s grace at work in my life so that the opposite is true. Good fruit flows through me so frequently that I hardly recognize myself. In fact, I am beginning to like me (or rather the person that Christ is making me into).
Recognizing our need is the beginning of a beautiful journey, a pathway to freedom. “And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)
“We therefore live in “hot pursuit” of Jesus Christ.” (Renovation of the Heart, p. 42) Because change is necessary and change is freedom. When we reach the end of our own resources we can begin to pursue him for healing.
“Spiritual formation is something we human beings can and must undertake- as individuals and in fellowship with other apprentices of Jesus. While is is simultaneously a profound manifestation of God’s gracious action through his Word and Spirit, it is also something we are responsible for before God and can set about achieving in a sensible, systematic manner.” (Renovation of the heart, p. 25)
For more thoughts on being transformed through the spiritual disciplines read, “A Narrow Path to Transformation”.