To be honest, the ways that life changes are probably as varied as there are lives. We are each unique. However, since the One who changes lives is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8), it is possible to gain some wisdom on how to go about helping others from observing him.
Remember the Source
The first thing to remember is that God, through the Holy Spirit, brings about change in our lives. He begins the work, continues the work, and will finish it on the last day (Phil 1:6). Since he knows us as the one who put us together, he knows how best to shape us into the likeness of Jesus.
Power of Prayer
The second thing that is foundational is that through prayer, we join in the work that God is doing around us. There is no strategy with a more significant impact than prayer. We often underestimate its power. Want to see Christ-like changes in your life and the lives of others around you? Pray!
Relationship is Key
A third typical influencer to life change is relationship. Rarely does lasting change come from a one-time, emotional decision, but rather out of deep relationships with those who we trust and respect. If you want to have an impact on someone’s life, put in the hard work of growing a healthy relationship.
Time is the fourth key to bringing about life-change. I have heard stories of overnight changes. One of my uncles quit smoking by just setting his last pack of cigarettes on the dresser and never looking back. His example would be an exception to the norm. In nearly every case, significant changes in who we are, or have been, require the investment of a lot of time. Remember, we are on God’s timetable, not ours.
It Takes Work
A fifth commonality in bringing about change is effort. Changing yourself, or helping someone else follow God in obedience, is hard work. Sacrifice is involved. When Jesus says that following him requires taking up a cross, this is what he is meaning. It is hard to lay down things you value for change in yourself and even harder to do it to see a difference in someone else.
You Need a Team
Finally, for this post, long-lasting life change requires support. “One can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap” (Ecc 4:12 CEB). Surround yourself with people who can hold you accountable. If you are helping someone else, be an accountability partner for them. Together we are stronger. Together we are Jesus to each other.