I’ll admit, it’s been painful, very painful to get up every morning and read the headlines in my news feed. Some stories have been heart wrenching-constant war, bombings, children being abducted, raped, killed. Others have been encouraging such as people giving back, new governmental policies to help people displaced from war and people showing more intentionality in helping those around them.
And then there are the stories that leave me speechless. Stories of celebrities upset about hairstyles drawing national attention and wanna be leaders of nations stoop to name calling and childish spats with each other. It’s hard to read and not feel sad or feel angry. Or even feel shame for my nationality, race or even my fellow followers of Christ. From the outside looking in, it looks like it’s getting ugly in there. It really does.
I know people desire change. Most people I talk to from the States are thankful for a system in which we elect leaders because it gives us a voice even if it’s 1 in 318,000,000, it’s still a voice. It seems that no matter what party you declare to be from, of the myriads we actually have, no one is happy. No one. Everyone wants change.
What I’ve also noticed is that many people are looking to those elected leaders for change. Once they are elected in, change will magically happen even, hopefully, overnight. Somehow this country will completely turn around in four years with this one person elected in and we get to go about our daily lives without giving it another thought. What’s odd is that if you were to open a business, the average turn around for that business to turn a profit and be back in the black is usually no sooner than four years. And that’s having all your employees on board…not 318 million different opinions.
But the Christian life isn’t dependent on others changing. It isn’t dependent on others changing for us. Christ calls us to Himself and as we grow closer to Him, we are left with a choice to change ourselves or not change. Not changing means we lose out on understanding God’s love for us, His beauty and how He has truly made us. Choosing to change means we have a relationship with someone who knows us more deeply and intimately than anyone ever has, does or will. A relationship with a Creator who not only knows you but made you….astounding.
“Organizational change cannot occur unless we accept the pain of personal change,” writes Robert Quinn in his book “Deep Change: Discovering the Leader within.” We can’t expect anything or anyone else to change for us. Whether elected to office or born into our family, we cannot change in place of someone else and they can’t in place of us. The only one that we can change is ourselves. And by doing so, we may have the opportunity to see the world around us change for the better as they watch us and our relationship with Christ.
AJ Swoboda in his new book “The Dusty Ones,” writes “Perhaps the greatest commentary any of us has for preaching the good news is our own textbook of mistakes, which helps us exegete our own failures that quietly whisper the eternal mysteries of grace. Maybe the best preaching advice I’ve ever received is this: if we preach to the perfect, nobody will listen; if we preach to the imperfect, we won’t be able to keep folks away.”
Personal change is painful. Stripping away the hurts, addictions, making amends-it’s all painful. But, through the pain comes peace and freedom. If we want to see country wide or world wide change, we need to be willing to walk down the painful road of change ourselves, not simply expect others to do it for us. And then be open and honest with those around us about the transformation we are going through. May it be so with us all.
What are your thoughts on personal change? how do you feel by changing you could really change the world?
be blessed today