It’s been said that people hate change, but I don’t think this is entirely true. While many people enjoy routines and familiarity, they also welcome new things. Among other things, we like new seasons, new restaurants, new technology, new friends, and new adventures.
This is why I tend to think that it’s not change that people resist so much as being changed. It’s not that we don’t like change, we just don’t want to change. This is because it’s hard. It’s uncomfortable, often humbling, and painfully difficult.
But as Christians, we must remember that change is really at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. When we believe the gospel, we accept the truth that we need to change. We know we are broken people whom God is making new through Christ. Not only us as individuals, but we believe that God is going to make all things new. There is also a cosmic change coming.
God not only wants to change your status—from non-Christian to Christian—but also to change you. He wants to make you like his Son Jesus.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Rom. 8:29)
I wonder if you’ve thought about your Christian lives through the lenses of change.
Are you aware of this change?
Are you resistant to it?
What are you doing to pursue it?
We can often fall into a dangerous complacency as believers. Content to simply have an identity as a Christian, we fail to rigorously and tenaciously pursue this Christ-likeness. But the Holy Spirit and the Word of God unsettle us with a holy discontentment. Here, aware of our nonconformity to Christ, we are prodded forward in sanctification. We see that it’s God’s will and his work to make us more like Christ.
It’s tempting to think that it’s trite to emphasize such things as personal Bible reading, meditation, prayer, and prioritizing the gathering on the Lord’s Day. Sometimes in small-group settings, we almost feel ashamed to answer questions with such obvious answers. We think, “I know what I need to do.” And, this is true, it is what we need to do. But think more broadly, it is also a primary means by which God does what he does in our lives. It’s not like we are punching our spiritual timesheet with our morning devotions and prayer. We are not just occupying a seat on Sunday morning. No, God is meeting with us to use his Word in the power of his Spirit to make us more like his Son. We must see and relish this connection between what we are doing and what God is doing. Achieving God’s ends comes through embracing God’s means.
For the Christian, then, change is hard and good. Let’s rejoice in it and embrace it.