The Challenge to Change
“I promise you this. If you don’t change and become like a child, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, CEV)
Change. You either love it or you hate it. Some of us find change exciting and love constant change in our life. For us, keeping things the same is boring! For others, change is far more challenging, and we prefer the steady certainty that keeps everything in its proper place. For us, keeping things the same is wonderful! But whatever our natural inclinations and character, “change” is something that God looks for in us all. For “change” lies at the heart of His call on our lives; He loves us too much to let us stay the same!
This challenge to change was central to Jesus' message. His ministry began with the announcement that God’s kingdom was near and that, in the light of that, people needed to “repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). The word “repent” means “change.” In fact, more specifically, the Greek word used means “a change of mind or heart that leads to a change of action.” Repentance is not just about saying “sorry,” but then living life the same as before. Such an attitude has more to do with feeling sorry for ourselves, or feeling sorry we were “caught,” than true repentance. True repentance means saying sorry and then living sorry; in short, it means a life of constant change.
In the light of this, we really shouldn’t be suspired if God wants to bring change into our lives – either personally or into our church community that we are a part of. But Christians are sometimes the very worst at accepting change! Many a church has experienced uproar when it has been suggested that we change the pews, or the organ, or the hymns, or the order of service, or the leadership structures, or the way we share communion, or the building … the list is endless! What a tragic shame for the people who are supposed to be, above all others, the people of change.
What about you? How have you been responding to challenges to change recently? Remember: Your very life in Christ is a life of - change!
“Do things that show you have really changed your hearts and lives.” (Luke 3:8, NCV)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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