America is changing. And changing at a lightning fast speed. It’s been happening so quickly some of us can hardly keep up.
The current political climate and the two candidates running for President reflect a change in our electorate. Yet, they are the two most disliked to ever win the nomination and run for the highest office in the land.
A decade ago marriage was defined, as it has been for 5,000 years, as a union between one man and one woman. Today that has changed.
While most Americans claim to believe in God, that number is falling–down from 90% to 70%. Faith is eroding, church attendance is in decline, and millennials particularly show an indifference to religion in general.
Today debt is high. Savings are low. People are worried about the future. And a recent poll last week showed that 70% of our citizens believe America is on the wrong track.
Indeed our changing culture is a challenge difficult to cope with. Yet, the one change that is most needed, the one we all resist. Leo Tolsoy, the Russian novelist, put it this way, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Ironically, the very people who should embrace change often resist it. And that’s Christians! Maybe it’s because we confuse Truth with tradition. Christ with custom. Human methods with the Divine Message. Obviously God’s Word doesn’t change. And we should remain true to unchanging principles of righteousness and godliness.
More perplexing it seems some think we can change the morals and mores of our country through the political process. By electing the right candidate. There is only one way the hearts, minds, and lives of people can be changed spiritually and that is by the gospel of Christ. It changes a person from unrighteousness to righteousness. From ungodliness to godliness. From sin’s snare to God’s servant (Rom. 1:16-17; 6:1-7; Eph. 2:1-10).
When the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, they had lots of issues to correct. The first letter details problem areas in their relationships. Attitudes. And even morals. But Paul was firm. He identified specific changes they needed in order to improve. Grow. And please God.
When Paul wrote the second Corinthian letter, he admitted that it hurt to write the first one. But then he said, “I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways.” (2 Cor 7:9, NLT).
Change is not bad, if it’s the right kind of change. And God wants us to change our ways!
Christian growth requires change. We are commanded to “Grow in grace and in knowledge” (2 Pet. 3:18). When we became Christians there was a change in relationship–from serving Satan to serving the Lord (Rom 6:17-18). Our thinking should be changed to emulate the attitude of Jesus (Phil. 2:5). God expects a change in our lifestyle (Eph. 4:22-24).
Author and lecturer Gail Sheehy once said, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow we are not really living.” Jesus came that we might enjoy an abundant life. A full life. A complete life. In Him. Failure to grow and change will result in a life that is stagnant. Static. And unfulfilling.
No Christian can grow and stay the same. Neither can a church. People that grow make changes. Modify methods. Alter approaches. A business that never changes will eventually go out of business. A sports team that doesn’t change, will find themselves at the bottom of the league standings. A church that won’t change will be staring at a lot of empty pews.
Do you want to grow? To be a stronger Christian? A more devoted wife? A more loving husband? A healthier church? The answer is found in one word. Change.
Examine yourself and ask, “How do I need to change?” “What do I need to change?” Do I need to change it in the area of Bible knowledge? Discernment? Conviction? Commitment? Ministry? Faith? Lifestyle? Relationships?
Regardless of how America changes. The only change we can directly affect is our own.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman