Change. It is something most people hate. Because change causes us to step outside our comfort zones and away from things we have come to appreciate and value. Change opens us up for disappointment when things don’t go the way we wanted, or we don’t achieve the result we were looking or hoping for. Change opens the door to failure and failure is something that many people fear. When you bring up the subject of change the most common response people give is “What if it doesn’t work?” One of the most common phrases we use in the English language relating to change is “Better the devil you know, than the one you don’t!”
And yet change is something that is a part of life. It happens almost daily. Change is something we need to embrace and not run away from. Change is a part of growth and development, and without change we can never grow. We don’t fear the change our children go through as they mature, but we sure scramble to take them to the doctor when things aren’t changing as they should.
Change is a part of life. And if we are followers of Jesus change is all the more important. Statistics show that change is not apart of the lives of those who call themselves Christian. In every way we are consistently like the world around us. We have the same habits, go to the same shows, use the same language and have the same behaviours. The only difference there seems to be is we gather together for our weekly religious duty in the big holy building down the street.
“without transformation that starts with repentance, the crucifixion of self, and, yes, even some of our cultural values and habits, there will be little redemptive power left to touch and transform our societies with the gospel. Christianity has never been cheap; it was always meant to cost us our very lives.” Wolfgang Samson ‘The House Church’
We are called to be agents of change in a world that is lost, and we have left our role behind and become just like the world we live in. Jesus came into the world to demonstrate to us who God is and to call us to be apart of His family and be like Him. It was always our destiny, until we decided to do things our own way. And God took it upon Himself to bring us back because He loves us so much. But we need to do it His way, and allow Him to work on us bringing about the changes that we need. God is a master of changing people. I know a great many people who can attest to this, myself included. But we need to let Him do what He can do.
Change is apart of our lives as Christians. Christian wasn’t just supposed to be a cultural name we attached to ourselves and continue living our way. Christian was meant to be a description of who we were becoming. Christian means “little Christ”, or “like Christ”. And the effect of having God in our lives is change. Jesus said to His disciples that we would be able to tell who people were by their lives. “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.” Matthew 7:16 NLV and the fruit of having a real connection with God and a life lived in restored relationship to His is one of love. “But the fruit that comes from having the Holy Spirit in our lives is: love, joy, peace, not giving up, being kind, being good, having faith, 23 being gentle, and being the boss over our own desires.” Galatians 5:22 NLV.
There is a lot of things in our world being passed of as Christianity. And the majority of it is crap. We need to return to the methods laid out by Jesus for deciding who and what is Christian. How’s your fruit?