Here’s a truth you need to embrace if you’re ever going to change: you do what you do because of what you think of you.

Don’t confuse this with why you think you do what you do. You may think you make decisions based solely on:

• Weighing the pros and cons

• What makes you happy

• What’s best for you and your family


You do what you do because of what you think of you.

Let me explain, starting with a story.

Exhibit A: The (Church) Parking Lot Fight

I was a relatively young pastor, our church was still fairly new, and we had just become the proud renters of a small office building. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been proud; it was only just big enough to provide space for our staff’s offices and for meetings. The condition of the building was somewhere between the sets of The Office and Bates Motel. The neighborhood was, well, questionable. But we’d started our church in a garage and had services in a rented space, and so yes, we were proud to finally have a real office building, even if everything about it was unimpressive.

You do what you do because of what you think of you

Until the day we heard, “Fight! Fight!”

Pastor Robert and I were working one weekday afternoon (yes, pastors work on days other than Sunday) when we noticed cars suddenly streaming into our parking lot. Our first thought was maybe it was a surprise pastor-appreciation party. Second thought was there’s no way this was a surprise pastor-appreciation party.

The people who were pouring out of a couple dozen cars were all teenagers. Who were making a circle. With two guys in the middle. And those two guys started to take their shirts off.

Ohhhhh. Fight!

Turns out our parking lot was the designated spot for high schoolers to gather off campus when someone said, “We’re meeting after school, and it is on!” This was our first fight since we took over the building, and it was about to go down.

I don’t remember what I was working on (probably parsing Greek verbs because that’s all pastors do on weekdays). I’m not sure what Robert had been doing (probably parsing Greek verbs too). But the idea of getting to watch a fight felt more exciting than whatever we were doing, so we ran out the front door yelling, “Fight! Fight!”

Even though we were pastors, we were still young males, so I’m not going to lie, we wanted to watch the fight. But when we got to the parking lot, we looked at each other and both knew we couldn’t. We couldn’t watch the fight because of who we were. We were Christians. Pastors. Peacemakers. No matter what we wanted to do, we had to be true to who we were. So we went from, “Fight! Fight!” to, “Break it up! Break it up!”

You do what you do because of what you think of you.

Groeschel, Craig. 2023. The Power to Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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