One thing most of us want is change. We want to be improving. We want to sin less. We want to grow into the man or woman God has called us (and designed us) to be. As followers of Jesus Christ we want to be people who are being changed into His image. We are told in Romans that God determined that those who are His will be formed into the image of His son. In II Corinthians 3:18 we learn that this brings God glory—our transformation!
The problem is that change can be difficult. It also forces us to admit a need for something else. It is humbling to face a need to be different. On the other hand, we can simply desire a better future for ourselves. What motivates you to look for places to change? A good friend of mind told me about a day in his business career when he closed his office door, sat in the chair opposite his desk and then began honestly assessing the person he was while he looked at the place he normally sat. He shared with me, “I didn’t like what I saw and decided I would change. After that day I began working on being a different man.” That took courage!
So how does change take place? A recent article in Psychology Today looked at just how we make change in our lives. The author, Dr. Jeffrey A. Kottler, is a counselor. He mentions that it is seldom things that people encounter in therapy, but most often in ordinary parts of our lives. As Christians we believe that the Holy Spirit interacts with us. The Spirit can be part of our daily life and it can help us see those areas where we’d like to change and where the Spirit alone can give us the ability to change. That brings God glory!
I find it interesting that Dr. Kottler points out that in times of trauma—times when things may be difficult for us, that our minds seem to be more open to the possibility of change. Isn’t it interesting that the Old Testament so often tells us that trauma is God’s way of getting our attention! Too often the verdict is that the trauma comes, but God’s people miss the opportunity to hear His voice calling.
This article also points out that it is in stories, conversations, etc. that we find the fodder for our changes. As believers we can with confidence say that God can speak through many venues. It can be a message you hear preached, a story about a friend’s or family member’s special life, hearing the story of a role model or some other ways that we find the call and inspiration to change. Something I would add that Dr. Kottler leaves out are the stories of scripture. I think those stories, at least for the faith community, are very often the mouthpiece by which we hear God.
So if we are longing to change, the question is legitimately asked, “How many ways are you opening your ears to hear the whispers of God’s Spirit?” Are we longing to look like Jesus or are we pretty happy with ourselves the way we are? Regular reading of the Bible or listening for the voice of God in a message, in a conversation or even in an inspiring life can be a tool in the hand of God to whisper a need to change. And His Spirit makes real change possible. That is GOOD news!
Have you seen change for a dollar?