Longing for Change
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. —2 Corinthians 5:17-19
People in society all around us want to change. We elect politicians and buy products just because they promise us some kind of change. The assumption is that any change is good, but actual experience doesn’t bear that out at all! Change is inevitable: rusting, fading, aging, and other experiences in life are change, and they are not for the better! And change for change’s sake is seldom good.
Good change isn’t accidental. It has to be intentional. The best changes have God involved in a big way! But even so, there have been many faulty methods for change in and outside the church. They creep into the church. They come in direct contradiction to what God has said or instructed. Those changes may sound good but they turn out bad. But sadly, we end up thinking that God has failed us when we haven’t even really attempted to change to God’s way.
This month we’re going to visit six faulty methods for change. And I’m hoping you’re going to drop each of those change-in-the-wrong direction strategies in a big, green garbage bag and carry it to the street. I hope as I go through these, you’re going to say, “Well, I’ve been doing that. That’s the way I’ve been going about trying to change. No wonder I’ve been struggling the way that I have.” In fact, let me just begin by trying to state our objective in a sentence: A true life change comes only through partnership with God and must begin with a rejection of all faulty, self-centered change methods.
Someone said, “If we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve always gotten.” Others have added that “continuing to do what we’ve always done but expecting a different result is the definition of insanity!” So how about a new approach? How about the approach that God has told us works every time it’s tried! Before we can get to the new approach, we’ve got to label and bag and carry to the street the faulty methods for change. Watch upcoming devotionals for these faulty plans and identify them for disposal from your life.
· In preparation for these upcoming thoughts on change this month, what is my basic plan of action when I realize something in my life has got to change?
· How is that plan working for me?
Father, You are not only in the change business, but You promise to bring about change in me. The challenge is to be willing to have You change me rather than insisting on remaining in control and having the last word. Lord, teach me to trust You where it matters the most—the things about me that need to change. In Jesus’ name, Amen.