One of the more surprising things that I have learned from a career in counseling is the average Christian does not know how to change. The Bible word for change is repentance. If you were to write out a process of change, what would you say? How do you repent?
The irony about folks not knowing how to change is that the purpose of Jesus coming was so we could repent. The point and force of the gospel are about changing ourselves. We have lost our way because we think about change primarily from a salvation perspective rather than a sanctification perspective.
The point of salvation is to get you into a position for ongoing and lifelong transformation into Christ’s likeness. Teal change happens after you are born again—what we call progressive sanctification. Like your physical birth, you were not complete when you came into the world, but after years of growing into a fuller version of yourself, were you more mature or fully developed (1 Peter 2:2).
Getting saved is not all you need to live well in God’s world. It is all you need to be justified, adopted, and secure your seat in heaven, but salvation does not change you in the way you need to be up-fitted for living in a fallen culture. If God has saved you, the rest of your life should be about repentance—the ongoing process of transforming. You do not need to be born again, again, but you must always be evolving (transforming) into Christlikeness.
Time to Reflect
1. What is one thing about you that you want to change?
2. Will you share that thing with a competent, courageous, and compassionate Christian who can teach you how to change?