Can we hit the throttle of change and increase the velocity of our upward spirals? Absolutely.
And we all . . . are being transformed. . . from one degree of glory to another—2 Corinthians 3:18
There’s a pattern to the lives of men trying to follow Jesus Christ: sin, confession, repentance, change . . . sin, confession, repentance, change. There are other aspects to these men’s lives, but this pattern is always present. It ensures that lives are transformed, over time—that sins change and lessen in severity through the cycles of the pattern. It is, in this way, an upward spiral of increasingly coming into the character of Jesus. The pattern ensures that no man gets stuck in sin, or worse, in a downward, ever more severe, spiral of sin.
God the Holy Spirit—when and if we offer our lives to Jesus—will guide us into upward spirals. If we hold onto our lives, though, we’ll inevitably slip into downward ones. It may not be obvious at first, maybe not for years, until we can deny it no longer—until anger, anxiety, depression, despondency, loneliness, isolation, boredom, or rebellion take over. And, even then, we can still offer our lives to Jesus and begin upward spirals. The penitent thief, crucified next to Jesus, began one just minutes before his death (Luke 23:40-43).
Now, being men, a question arises: can we hit the throttle of change? Can we speed the velocity of our upward spirals? Absolutely. The Spirit does most of the work—it’s called grace. But, we can couple more and more of our obedience to more and more of his grace and, thereby, crank up the speed of our transformations . . . and, in fact, the transformations of our faith communities.
Okay, so what do we do?
Get into community with other men. Create a safe place for authentic, raw confession. Encourage each other to turn from sin, from wrong beliefs about yourselves and about God. Pray expectantly for ever more change. Do just those . . . and things will get interesting quickly.