You’ve heard the truism: “The only thing that stays the same is that nothing stays the same,” or maybe, “The only constant is change.”
It’s true that no community stays the same. I couldn’t give my children the same upbringing I had, even if we lived in the same Hoosier community I grew up in. I’m not my father and my children are not me.
Think about what life was life only a year ago, and you realize that life changes, and changes quickly. Despite this fact, we all resist change. We fight it, complain about it and wish for days that are old but may or may not have been “good.”
I choose to embrace change as long as it is improvement. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Will adapting to this change make this better, or just different? Is there something precious and honorable about clinging to something old?
Those aren’t easy questions to answer, but when I can see something positive coming from change, I embrace it. I am changing physically, so I am running and watching what I eat. This pandemic has changed society, so we are offering online services. My children are changing, so I adapt my parenting style, as best as I know how.
Another word for positive change is “growth.” Growth should never be resisted and hindered, but embraced and helped. We know this when it comes to our health, our finances, and our employable abilities, and often we do what it takes to cultivate this growth. But when it comes to the spiritual part of us, we overlook it.
In 2 Peter 3:18, God commands us: “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
God tells us to grow in our reliance upon Him (grace), and in our knowledge of who He is. That means we should be content in our understanding of who He is, what the Bible says, and what He is doing in our lives, but should be in the constant state of change and growth.
How can you do this? Study your Bible. Don’t just read it, but study it. Ask God to reveal Himself to you in it. Ask Him to change you (Rom. 8:29). Submit to His leading in your life. Learn to hear His voice. Let Him use you to invest in others.
Join a body of believers who will help strengthen you. Learn to serve. Learn to sacrifice. Learn to give. Grow in humility. Change your angry habits. Change your vocabulary, through God’s help.
Lean into Him, and let Him change you. In a changing world, this is the only change worth embracing.
Pastor Joshua Hawn serves at First Baptist Church in Park Rapids.