Pardon Me, Do You Have Change?

During any given evening, the following banter can be overheard at our dinner table:

Any one or all three kids: “I don’t like that.” 

My wife or me: “How do you know? You haven’t tried it.” 

Any one or all three kids: “I don’t like that.” 

It seems our aversion to change either comes very early or is completely ingrained in our DNA at the moment of conception. Either way most of us have issues on some level with change. 

Perhaps that’s why we hold tight to the short refrain found in Hebrews 13:8: 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (NLT) 

What a great verse. It resonates with the comfort of knowing the Lord we serve is an ever-present constant in a world of change. 

But as much as this verse speaks the comfort of God to us, I wonder if we don’t sometimes misuse it to invoke the comfort of status quo instead. I confess I’ve used it as a crutch to avoid change in my life.

When I see God moving me in a direction I’m uncomfortable with, it becomes very easy to use this verse to rationalize my complacency. “I’ve never had to do this before. God hasn’t changed and everything was fine before. So surely I don’t have to do this now.” Very subtly I’ve substituted my own will, usually in the guise of doctrine, for Christ as the subject of the verse. 

No matter how I try to slice it though, this verse is talking about one thing—Jesus. Not me, not what I believe, not even what I believe about him. It’s only about Christ. And just because he is constant doesn’t mean that I’m supposed to be. In fact, this verse means just the opposite. 

As Christ’s disciple, I recognize I am not him. Change must be my constant companion to push and grow me toward the goal that is Jesus’ example. I have no hope becoming Christ-like if I am not willing to change. 

And if I refuse to change? Then one of two things must have happened. Either 1) I have nothing more to change, or 2) I have nothing more I’m willing to change. If it’s the first then I’m delusional. If it’s the second then I’m stagnant.  Either way, it’s not good. 

I’ve come to realize that while God’s nature is constant, his relationship with us never has been. Each covenant he has made–from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to the new covenant of Christ—has been a step forward in his plan to bring us, change us, closer to him. We serve a God on the move. 

So why fear change? Instead I should welcome it as an invitation to become more like Christ. If I refuse, it’s a sure bet I will miss God’s next big movement.

Me at God’s dinner table: “I don’t like that.” 

God: “But how do you know?” 

No matter how much I think I won’t like them, it’s time to try my brussel sprouts. 

Live The Mission,
Greg

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