For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 12: The Beautiful: A New Vision of Me
– Change is about coming out of hiding and accepting our true identity
– We are already made in the image of God now we can become heirs of God
– Change is not easy but it is possible
I really believe that many Christians think that change into Christlikeness is beyond their reach. Jesus never doubted the possibility for change in his followers. If he did, he wouldn’t have hung around the rag-tag group that he did. He wouldn’t have called out the poor in the spirit and the meek for blessing. Change has nothing to do with who we are but everything to do with who Jesus is. Change is possible, I can attest to it.
Apprentice Activity: People Can Change
– Make a list of people you know who’ve made a significant and positive change in their life
– Have lunch with one of the people from your list and ask them the secret to change
– Note the things that worked for them
If you have grown up in the church then you are familiar with the “top that testimony” phenomenon that often happens in youth groups. Share time in small groups turns into who can tell the most sensational story. My experience among young adults is somewhat the opposite. No longer do individuals want the attention that comes from their tortured past because it is more important to project a “good face” and the appearance of a good life. Adults need to find more opportunities to tell each other what God is doing in their life. This exercise could be very helpful in that regard.
What is Jesus teaching me? That change is sometimes a quick process and sometimes a slow process. I can point you to specific aspects of my life that have been changed by Christ and then I can point you to other aspects that have seen slow changes. I have learned not to keep score and trust God that as long as I am willing to change and asking for change then He will continue to work on me. Though I still struggle with certain things, I look back and see more and more of the overall person that Christ is trying to build in me. If all of my pains and struggles were removed then I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Have you beat yourself up over your spiritual failures? Are you frustrated with the change process? Do you believe that change is possible?