Celebrating Successes

Brain science teaches that our brains are neuroplastic.[1]  This means the brain can be changed.  The brain is not set is stone.  This is great news for everyone!  For individuals who struggle with addiction, this is really great news.  In fact, it renders the oft repeated line “once an addict, always an addict” as a complete and total lie.  It is completely contrary to brain science.

Most importantly, God’s Word says that it is so…  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”[2]   Further, the Bible instructs “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”[3]

One organization that helps individuals overcome unwanted sexual addictions, anxiety and depression, and also substance abuse indicates that one of the best ways of helping change the brain is by celebrating the small successes that one experiences along the way.[4]  Change is a process, it does not happen overnight.  The journey of positive change is really a journey of many smaller steps or successes that lead to new behavior.

I am sure that you can start to see some of the benefits and implications this has on your individual life as well as your spiritual journey.  There are also applications to organizations and churches.  Churches can change.  By celebrating the small successes and learning to focus on those along the way, we can experience wonderful change.

So today, I have decided to start a “Celebrating Success” page where successes are shared.  They can be small successes, they can be medium successes, or they can be large successes.   Whatever they are, they need to be shared.  They need to be communicated.  This will help to remind us of the journey we are on and to see how far we’ve come.

Post by: Pastor Eric Ollila.

[1] The Dynamic Brain: Neuroplasticity and Mental Health

Jill L. Kays, Psy.D.; Robin A. Hurley, M.D.; Katherine H. Taber, Ph.D.

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2012;24:118-124. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.12050109

[2] 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

[3] Romans 12:2 NLT