What comes to your mind when you read the title to this blog? Are you facing change in your life? Are you changing? Is someone trying to change you? Are you trying to change someone else? Do you need a little pocket change to buy something? I looked up "change" on dictionary.com and couldn't believe all the sermons that await me! It intrigued me so that I decided to blog about it and link the title to this post to its definition. (Click on the word "change" above to read it's definitions.)
If you go to the link you will notice that there are 8 definitions for "change" as a verb used with an object and 9 definitions for the word as a verb used without an object. The very first definition under "verb used with an object" is "to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone." The 4th definition is "to give and take reciprocally; interchange." Think about that. God made each of us to be different. If we get stuck in our perspective, that way God created us to perceive issues, people, etc, then we will try to change others to be like we are. On the other hand, each of us has positive traits in which others lack that can have a positive influence on them for productive changes to be made in their lives. I don't know about you, but I personally don't want to change someone to be something that God did not create them to be. If they change to be just like me, they won't need me anymore! I like the 4th definition better. I want to view other people God brings to me in a positive light. I want them to see me in a positive light. Let's focus on each other's strengths and not focus on the weaknesses we would love to change. Let's give reciprocally to promote positive change and stop trying to force someone to live in a mold God did not create for them.
We all have people in authority over us and under us. This works both ways. If we try to force change in someone in leadership over us, it is a sign of rebellion. If we try to force people to change that answer to us in authority (employees or children), it is a sign of control and manipulation. Wow! Sometimes that is not our heart's intention at all, but that is what others perceive. Ouch! I am challenged now to pray that God will show me my perspective, the other persons perspective, and more importantly HIS perspective about how we are made and what needs to change. I want God to show me how to pray for the other person. I will then start seeing change in their life from the inside out and not because I forced it. I will also start seeing those things God does not want to change in them, because He did not make them for the change I want them to have. Then I will change! Remember that there are definitions for "change" that are a "verb used with an object" and "verb used without an object." A couple of definitions under "verb used without an object" are "to become different" and "to become transformed." I like that! When we spend time with God in close communion we can't help but to be changed. That change will be the way HE wants it...transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may prove what that good and acceptable will of God is for our lives. The chapter in the Bible where that comes from (Romans 12) goes on to tell us that we are all different and we need each other. It warns us of not thinking too highly of ourselves than we ought (that someone has to change to be like us). The Apostle Paul also urged us in verse 10 of that chapter to "be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."
Lord help us to seek You in this area of change. Show us how to love each other in spite of our differences. Remind us that what we think is a strength, someone else thinks is a weakness. That's because You created us to take care of different things in the body of Christ. Help us to respect that in others and trust you to bring the change in each of us that YOU want us to have...from the inside out...change that shows spiritual growth and the development of the Godly character You want in each of us. I pray You will use my personality to edify and build up those you place in my life and not tear them down. In Jesus' Mighty Name, AMEN!!