Law #9

Teach Others

As we said in the introduction, it is only when our very nature begins to change, that real change will really come.  One of the most effective means of helping the new nature to develop in us is to assist other people as they try to do the same. 

Effective change will not really occur until all the things listed above become deeply imbedded in our hearts.  Simple knowledge of the right way does not solve problems.  As mentioned earlier, the drug addict lying in a gutter usually knows his problem and the solution, but it still doesnít help him.  In order to change we must want to go in a new direction.  We have to desire it passionately.  Finally we must go through the difficult and sometimes painful process of changing our habits, our ways of thinking and even our very nature.  God accomplishes the change of nature, but we can assist in the process, hinder the process or even prevent it from happening at all.  It requires a period of hard work, but, once our habits, ways of thinking and nature have changed, things get much easier and our life starts to move in the new direction with much less effort. 

As mentioned in Law 5, most of the most important decisions we make, we arenít even aware of.  That is because most of the decisions we make each day are based on mindless habits, not conscious thought. A loser doesnít have to try very hard to fail.  Itís just his or her nature.  Without even any conscious effort, lifelong habits and attitudes will assure continued failure.  The secret of changing from a loser to a winner is not to focus on acquiring new knowledge, but rather to focus on acquiring a new nature.  God can bring this, but it takes time to develop.  We must let God do Godís part and we have to do ours.  We must act in cooperation with God and not fight God during this very important period.  When we have this new nature, success will be almost as effortless as failure was before.   We will not have to concentrate or work hard to do what is right.  It will be our nature.  We will do it naturally out of habit.  Ironically, when our new nature comes, slipping back into our old ways of failure will actually be difficult and require effort.

Since it is God that changes us, it only makes sense that we need to spend more time with God if we want to change.  This has already been discussed in the 4th and 5th great laws.  Another extremely effective element to help the change come swiftly and powerfully is to assist other people in the process of change.  For proper growth and strength we need all these elements.

Assisting others, means to teach, encourage, chide Öor basically do whatever it takes to help those who want to change, change.  The key word here is to ďassistĒ.  If we start thinking that we can change a person by our own effort we are starting to play God again and our own spiritual health is jeopardized. 

We can assist a dysfunctional person to become functional, we can assist a functional person to remain functional or we can assist someone who is already quite healthy to become even stronger.  In the process of doing any of these things our eyes will see things from a new perspective and we will notice things we never did before.  Nothing helps you to learn faster or better than teaching.  Nothing helps you to resist temptation more than helping someone else resist temptation.  Nothing gives you more strength than empowering another person.

Ideally, believers should form a community where they encourage, teach and strengthen each other.  Each can share in the area of his or her own strength and everyone can develop the best habits of others.  The whole soon becomes greater than the sum of itís parts.


Learning Exercises