Thursday, July 03, 2008

Why Not Change Now?

from the chapter “A Better Way: Reclaiming the Teen Years as the Launching Pad of Life,” in the book Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, by Alex and Brett Harris.

This chapter, “A Better Way,” sets up the next section of the book with five challenges for doing hard things. We’ll be looking at those one at a time. So specifically, the question, “Why not change now?” is pointing toward that section.

But who understands exactly how we change? We all talk about it. Most of us desire it. But the most valuable change comes from the inside out. And this seems to surpass our capabilities. I am suspicious that our authors, young as they are, may think that deep life change is merely a matter of making up one’s mind to do so. For example, I’ve made up my mind many times to lose a few pounds. A few times, I’ve actually done it. But I can’t for the life of me tell the difference at the beginning of the process between the few successful diets and the many fairy tale diets.

Here’s just a couple of “change” verses in the Bible: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23 ESV) – it makes “deep” change sound pretty difficult. “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.” (Matthew 21:32 ESV) – what would it take for them to change?

But my skepticism aside, how about a better, more powerful word? Not just changed, but transformed. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2Corinthians 3:18 ESV)

And here, we have to confess that we do not change ourselves, but we are changed by Another, by the One who Comes Alongside, the One with whom we are to keep in step.

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