Devotional: Change!

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man,and he will increase in learning. Prov. 9:9 (KJV)

Few people enjoy change. We get in a comfort zone and tend to want to remain there. Economist John Galbraith observed, "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof."

Mr. Galbraith was right. Great energy has been expended, impassioned speeches delivered, and battle lines drawn all in resistance to change. I recall once narrowly avoiding a church fight over whether to take down paneling during the remodel of our auditorium. The chief opponent of the idea argued that "godly men had put that paneling on the wall, some of whom are deceased." I thought but never said, "Yes, and godly men will take it down."

One humorist said, "Nobody likes change, except a baby with a wet diaper." Another good observation.

Certainly, some change ought to be resisted. Change for the sake of change has no merit. Change in the wrong direction is...well, wrong. For instance, a change from obedience to God to disobedience or from faith to doubt or from honesty to dishonesty would be change for the worse. There are immutable truths and principles set forth in God's Word which must never be violated or rendered moot in the name of change.

Conversely, to insist that one will never change on any issue no matter what is just silly pride, stubbornness and a recipe for spiritual dwarfism. I recall as a boy hearing preachers thunder about how they had not changed in twenty or thirty or fifty years...always to a chorus of "Amens." It made good preaching...and poor theology and a terrible approach to ministry. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever because He is perfect. He is ideal. There is no change He could make that would improve Him in any way. The same can be said for no other human who has ever walked the planet.

Change can be frightening and foreboding. It is often unsettling because you don't know what to expect. It is also essential - if you are going to grow. Every new thing you learn, every new idea, every new piece of information changes you in some way.

May we each keep an open mind and teachable spirit and may the things we learn and experience this day change us...for the better.

A Prayer For Today: Father, I know that I am a work in progress. I am better than I was before You found me, but not at all what I will be when You have perfected Your work in me. I pray that I will remain pliable in Your hands. Change what needs changing, Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen."