"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
II Corinthians 3:18
Change is sometimes very hard for me. For a guy who never likes to do something twice the same way -- I am often at odds with myself. On one hand I know what I like, and I know what works. But I get bored… easily, so I change.
I am also a non-conformist! I am a free spirit. Some people call me a rebel, and I DON’T LIKE to be told what to do!
I teach creative thinking and production. Do you know what the difference is between an art and a science? With science you always get the same answer twice. 2+2 is ALWAYS 4 in science. In art, you can make the answer, or object of your creativity, DIFFERENT, Every. Single. Time!
Seth Godin wrote, “Mathematicians don’t need to check in with the head of math to find out what the talking points about fractions are this week. That’s because fractions are fractions. Anyone can choose to do the math, and everyone will find the same truth.”
I am really bad in math. My algebra teacher once told me that I when I grew up, I wouldn’t have a calculator in my pocket at all times. Oh, how I wish I could find him to show him my new cell phone, with its fancy calculator app of course.
I did learn there is a fine line between a numerator and a denominator! OK, one more math joke; There are three kinds of people in this world, those that are good in math and those who are NOT, and that’s all!
To me, change is something that challenges me to think creatively to communicate truths in new and fresh ways. For example, all of my church life I’ve heard that the church is not an organization. but rather an OR-GAN-ISM. This was almost always in reference to denominationalism. I’ve also heard and read that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Make no mistake – HE IS!
An ORGANIZATION has rules and procedures that are not to be violated. An OR-GAN-ISM is something that is DYNAMIC and always changing. Hopefully the church is always changing but always the same. But, how can that be? A human organism is something that continually has dead cells falling off and new cells regenerating. In our bodies, I’ve learned that red blood cells are dissipating and new red blood cells are constantly be reproduced. That is simply what an organism does.
Has your view of church changed? Mine sure has! But I don’t ever want to say the church needs to be different because, “well, that was then, and this is now.”
On the other hand, II Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
If we are going to become the “face of Jesus” in our communities and in this world, we must be ever changing, and becoming more like Him day-by-day. The Church needs to always be looking to see how we can be better. Let’s change as we need to, but let’s not change for the sake of change, or because everybody else is doing so.
Something I read last week about this very topic, was by one my preacher hero’s, Jimmy Allen! Jimmy Allen wrote an autobiography, Fire in my Bones. Chapter 9 is called "Changing Views."
"No Christian teacher wants to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine ... however, all disciples are obligated to GROW in grace and KNOWLEDGE of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (II Pet. 3:18). A brother who says, 'I haven't changed any of my Biblical views in the last twenty-five years,' has not had his head in the Bible. Furthermore, he would make a stagnant, mosquito-infested, mud hole look like fresh water! ... I have changed on some subjects. Many times, those who are the most dogmatic are also the most ignorant."
I always appreciated brother Allen’s bluntness! Often, I was convicted from his bluntness. I was also humored by his blunt and extreme illustrations. But never the less, the directive here is for us to be prepared to change. If we are not changing, then we are not moving closer to God.
I heard a preacher once say, “the reason most people won’t ever change their mind is that they would have to admit they were wrong about something in God’s word for the last 25 years,” (or more)! He continued, “Is it truth that leads you, or the fear that you could have been wrong for so long?” We don’t learn something once and then never look back at that again. God forbid that we are not open enough to learn new truths, and ways of living our lives, so that we can be more pleasing to Him. The word of God is intended to change our mind from our way of thinking, to God’s way of thinking. The more we know about Him, the more we’ll change to be like Him.
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Steve Shaner, is a professional storyteller that delights in traveling to meet new and old friends. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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