There are two words that seem to follow me where ever I go. These two words convince me that my intention to change is as powerful as my commitment to change. But that is a lie. These two words:
I’m great at telling myself, “I should.” I should workout more. I should eat better. I should get up earlier. I should run a mini-marathon. I should get out of debt. I should read more. I should write more.
The same can be said about my marriage. I should listen more. I should give Trisha my best. I should help with the kids. I should lead our family more spiritually. I should engage as much at home as I do at the office. I should not be so controlling.
My life as a father has been filled with “I should.” I should take the boys camping. I should not lose my temper so easily. I should be more patient. I should spend quality time with each of the boys. I should help him with his homework. I should pray more with them.
In my relationship with God, “I should” has crossed my mind hundreds of times. I should read my Bible more. I should spend more time in prayer. I should journal more consistently. I should show more grace. I should worship God in more ways that just singing on Sundays. I should give more.
The problem with I should is that it will never change your life. No one has ever changed out of obligation.
For transformation to truly take place in your life, you have to move from “I should” to “I want to.” It is about desire.
If I don’t desire to read my Bible more than I desire watching SportsCenter, change will not happen. If I don’t desire time with my wife more than I desire time at the office, she will never feel like a priority. If I don’t desire spending time with my boys more than I desire watching TV, I’ll never be a better dad. If I don’t desire to be healthy more than I desire lying on the couch, I’ll never lose weight.
Transformation only takes place as our desire to change aligns with the power of the Holy Spirit to change us. Sometimes that means sacrifice; sometimes it means surrender; sometimes it means confession; sometimes it means humility. It always means moving from “I should” to “I want to.”
Maybe what keeping you in the same pattern in your marriage, your friendships, your career, your personal life is that your desires are too weak. You live an obligated life.
You have settled for a life of “I should” and haven’t embraced a life of “I want to.”