Love him or loathe him, but one thing is for sure, President Donald Trump has really brought change to Washington in just 10 days!
His demeanor, personality, approach, retorts, and of course, constant tweeting is change from every past President. Some like it. Others hate it so much their responses border on the irrational. Already there is a web site, ironically called change.org, demanding for the impeachment of President Trump.
However, as I reflect early this morning with a hot cup of coffee about life and particularly my life….. I’m reminded life is full of changes. When I began preaching over 40 years ago, I never thought I would be living in Texas. Or writing a blog. Or be this old! I never realized how two little grandsons could change my life…For the better. Indeed the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, was right “The only constant in life is change.”
Circumstances change. Culture changes. Styles change. Laws change. Presidents change. And the weather changes! Some changes are good. Others are bad. Many changes are out of our control. But we must accept change. Live with it. Deal with it. Adapt to it.
But there is one change I can affect. It is changing myself. However, that is the very change 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.
But consider this. 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).
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).
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. Unfulfilling. And ultimately eternally disastrous.
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.
You can’t change who’s been elected President. And you may not change other people. But you can change you. As John Maxwell succinctly said it, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
–Ken Weliever, ThePreacherman