Change for a Change

neon sign that says "change"

Real change is tough. Transient change seems to be a natural human cycle. These ephemeral changes trick our minds into thinking that we have affected some conditions that we perceive as being within our purview to modify.  

Common examples of these ECs (ephemeral changes) are,   
– I’m going to learn a new language. 
– I’m going to exercise every day.
– I’m going to church every Sunday.

It Must Take Root

We make these decisions and, often, that’s as far as we go. That simple mental exercise suffices. Occasionally, either on purpose or by accident, we act on our decision. We download Doulingo and start learning German; Ich lerne Deutsch!  

In our quest for change, we rearrange our daily schedule to make room for our new endeavor. Sadly, a few days or weeks later, some event interferes with unser neues Selbst (our new self) which throws our good intentions out the window. Our familiar life returns, and German becomes something we’ll tackle irgendwann mal (someday).

The problem with change that’s real is that it must take root within us. If it falls on stony ground or a footpath or an over committed calendar, then our change dies on that well-trodden road named Good Intentions.  

Real Change

Real change only becomes permanent when it becomes an integral aspect of our actual life; not our idealized life or life that everyone thinks we have. Real change doesn’t often happen, it doesn’t easily happen, and it doesn’t just happen.

The apostle Paul addressed the value to Christians for true change.  

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.   

Romans 12:2

My guess is that if you’ve come to my website then you’ve read Romans 12:2 countless times. But I think God wants to say something to us, so let’s break down this verse.  

This verse has:  

  • A commandDo not be conformed to this world  
  • A prognosisbut be transformed (this means changed)  
  • A mechanism: by the renewal of your mind (this means renovation of your mind)  
  • A process: that by testing you may discern what is the will of God  
  • An axiomwhat is good and acceptable and perfect (will of God)  

There is a concept within Romans 12:2 that every Christian must understand.  

It is the difference between an outward conformity or disguise and a thorough inward assimilation. The Christian is not to copy the fleeting fashions of the present time, but to be wholly transfigured in view of that higher mode of existence, in strict accordance with God’s will, that he has chosen.  

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers 

Renovate Our Minds

Our transformation (change) is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work within us. The Holy Spirit will bring into our thoughts things that we need to change. When we obey God then He guides us and strengthens us in the renovation of our minds, that’s when true transformation takes place, bringing to maturity the true things of God within us.  

So, if we really do want to change, for a change, then we should begin our journey on our knees. God answers prayer. We must seek the true things of God, not the cheap knockoffs that the world wants us to choose. 

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

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