There are those who will speak ill of a person who has changed over time. They will complain that this person is not the same one they were friends with years before, began working with some time ago, or married in their younger years. They talk of change as though it is the plague and recoil at the thought of a difference being present. The same is often true in patterns of thinking as well. People, especially those in the public light, face ridicule or are called hypocrites and flip-floppers for changing their beliefs on a certain issue or study.
However, there are some questions that need to be asked: is all change bad? Is it wrong for a person to change, no matter what direction they are going? Instead of acting shocked at change, should we not expect it?
As people, we are not God. We do not have all knowledge, all power, and all comprehension. Therefore, it is necessary for us to learn and grow. As Christians, we desire to be more like God each day: to love what he loves and hate what he hates. This requires a continual progression of change (otherwise known as growth) on our part. Understanding such, it should be a part of our expectations in life that people change over time.
Peter wrote about the things that need to be a part of the Christian’s life in 2 Peter 1:5-8 when he wrote: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The use of the term “abound” in verse 8 is very interesting. It is from a Greek word meaning, “to exist in abundance, to make to increase.” It is used, in this passage, in the sense of continuing to increase as time moves forward.
Therefore, if I am to develop as God desires, I must change over time. Additionally, I should be looking for others to change as well, not to remain stagnant with each passing year.
So, are you the same person today that you were a year ago? If the answer is yes, then maybe you need to step back and see if there is something missing in your focus in life. We are all human, because of this we are all imperfect and need constant work and attention to every aspect of our lives. So ask yourself…
- Is your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word the same today as it was a year ago?
- Is your prayer life the same?
- Is your love for God the same?
- Is your relationship with your family the same?
- Is your understanding of the grace and mercy of God the same?
- Is your devotion to God the same?
- Is your focus in life the same?
- Is your desire for Heaven the same?
- Is your development and use of your talents the same?
If the answers to any of these are “yes,” why is that? Is it because you have perfected every aspect of knowledge, understanding and implementation in that area, or is it because you have not been giving it the attention it deserves?
We need to change and we should expect others to do so as well. In fact, we should be disappointed if there is no change in our friends and loved ones over the years, because it means they have not grown.
I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to change over the years, because I believe that the man that is here today is a better servant of God than the one who was present years ago, and I pray that I will continue to transition into a better servant as days go by. I am equally thankful my wife is not still the woman I married… she is better, and continuing to grow every day. And I am so grateful to work with a congregation of people that have changed over the years… into better, more developed servants of Christ with more knowledge and understanding of his word.
Have you changed?