Why Change?

Written by Devon Bowman

Change is a difficult part of life for most people. Most of the time we want our life to be predictable, simple, and bite-sized. We do not want the hard work of figuring out new things or changing our routines. We can be comfort creatures, creatures of habit. This means that when change comes we can struggle, fight, and claw to maintain the status quo. The reality of the Christian life means that we should not be like this. We should instead be people who embrace change and make a difference. I am going to lay out four reasons that we should be people who embrace change.

  1. Change is Inevitable

“Change is inevitable” is a statement that we all understand and agree with. Yet, when it happens we can be in shock. The world that we live in is a world of constant change. If anyone has ever left your hometown and returned years later you know exactly how rapid and vast that change can be. 

An example that clearly displays this is in the growth of computer technology. The largest and most powerful computers in the world are called supercomputers. Supercomputers are the pinnacle of processing power. They measure operations per second in a measurement called gigaFLOPS. In 1993, only thirty years ago, the supercomputer averaged 124 gigaFLOPS per second. In 2022, this increased to over 1.1 billion. That is an increase of over 887 million percent. Our brains cannot even understand the amount of change in that short of time. 

We did not ask for change, but once the first computer was built it set us on this road of constant change. Some changes are good. I think that the movement from an outhouse to indoor plumbing was a pretty great move. Moving from cannons to nuclear warheads was certainly not as beneficial. It is not the change itself that is wrong but what is changed does make a difference. 

In the church we can see that as well. Whether it is new carpet, a new parking lot, or an improved projector system, those are needed and inevitable changes that we should embrace. If someone stands on the platform or sits in a Sunday school room and preaches something that is not in the Bible, then we need to stand firm and not embrace the change. We distinguish these easily because one set is a matter of growth and the other a matter of truth. 

The world around us is changing. We cannot think that if we stay the same, the world will too. This is why we as the church must understand the world around us. The truth we have been given has not changed, but we must be able to speak it into a world that has. 

  1. Complacency Breeds Contempt

Complacency is not a healthy place. Many times that we promote maintaining the status quo we are not defending what is best but we have become a complacent person. Just because we have always been doing it in a certain way does not mean that it has always been done the right way. We have a saying in our staff that we do not defend what is not working. The Bible is clear in many places that complacency is not of God. 

“At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The Lord will do nothing, either good or bad’” (Zephaniah 1:12 NIV).

In this verse there were people in Israel who were complacent in their unholy ways. They were not serving God and just assumed that God was going to do nothing at all. Yet, is this not what happens in our lives? We can often act as though us being complacent in our ways is not what is bringing us misery. 

Some of the most miserable people I have met are those who are complacent in their lives. They know their lives are not what they could or should be. They understand that the only way that this improves is if we remove complacency. Those who do not do this will eventually breed contempt in their hearts–contempt for themselves and contempt for others. If we do not embrace change in our lives, this could be the state of our own hearts. 

  1. Growth is not just about us.

Some of you reading this could be thinking, “I am in a great spot. I am content. I am not doing bad things. Why should I change?” I think this can betray a belief that we have about change. Most of the time we only think about change in how it affects and touches our own lives. We can make it all about us. However, the truth is that our growth and change in our lives touches every person we come in contact with. 

Think of many individuals in the Bible such as Moses, David, and Paul. What happened in each of these lives did not just make a difference for them but for countless others. 

Moses growing as he lived in the desert was what put him in God’s hands to be used to liberate the entire nation of Israel. His growth in leading the people made their journey through the desert end in the Promised Land.

David’s growth in the field looking after the sheep was not just simply about his job as a shepherd. His skill with the sling allowed him to be in the position to take down the giant. His proficiency on the lyre gave rest to King Saul and gave us countless Psalms that we read and pray to this day. 

Paul’s serving and learning in the church in Antioch enabled him to be sent out on his first missionary journey. This spread the gospel all through the Mediterranean and into Europe. Paul’s growth meant salvation for countless people. 

This is the same for us. Our embrace of change means that we allow God to shape us. We allow God to grow us and mold us not just because we want it, but because this makes a difference for others as well. 

  1. We are called to Christlikeness.

If you are a follower of Jesus you are called to be like Jesus. We are called to be “imitators of God” as is stated in Ephesians 5:1. I don’t know about you, but many times I do not model Jesus Christ perfectly. What this means is that I have a need for change in my life. We deceive ourselves if we think that everything in our lives can stay the exact same and yet be more like Jesus. 

If we desire to look more like Jesus everything in our lives will change. We will no longer look at the same things, we will no longer listen to the same things; our friends will change, our priorities will change. There is not a piece of our hearts or our lives that God does not have dominion over. There is not a thing that He does not desire to change and work. If we truly say that we want to be like Jesus then we must embrace the necessary change. This is the work of the Holy Spirit within us as a daily changing into the likeness of Jesus.

No matter where we are in the Christian life, each one of us is in need of change. This is something that we have to embrace if we desire to be obedient. The essence of being a disciple is obedience, so let us obey Jesus Christ as we are changed in an ever changing world. 

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