Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
We seldom see ourselves as others do. Most of the time we aren’t aware of the things about us that rub others the wrong way. We rarely have the conscious thought, “Hey, I need to change and become a better person.” Usually our conscious thoughts fall into one of these two categories: (1) Defending myself: “I’m a pretty good person. Everyone else just needs to accept me and get over themselves.” (2) Loathing myself: “There’s no hope for me. I can never change.” I’ve heard it said that people never really change. But I’ve actually seen people change dramatically for the better. We all have. How does someone become a better person—stop old habits, become more loving, less self-centered? If that can happen, then how?
I’ve never seen anyone self-improve just because they didn’t have enough to do and thought it would be fun to put themselves through the pain and discipline necessary for some kind of drastic change of character or lifestyle. People who change are people who come face to face with the fact that the way they are living and behaving is in some way destroying them and those around them. It’s difficult to come to that realization all by yourself. You usually need to have it pointed out to you. Not fun! But those who listen to the painful truth, who reach deep down for a handful of humility, who can take a long, hard look in the mirror and be honest about what they see there, are on their way to genuine life change.
The stated vision of First Christian Church is to Bring Real Life Change to Central Phoenix. That is either one of the most unrealistic goals imaginable, not to mention audacious and arrogant, or it is precisely what we all and our city need, and therefore worth pursuing. But how?
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ…” It is my contention here that real life change for the better does not happen apart from people getting reconnected to their Creator, allowing him to effect change within them and determining to live life his way. Apparently God is in the business of re-creating us and making us new if we want him to.
What has been your experience with personal change? In yourself? In others you know?
Great article! I agree that change, real change does not come without God’s help. That has been my experience anyway, both in what I’ve experienced myself and what I’ve seen in others.