Are you a person committed to change?
This time of year, we’re all thinking about change. We’re going to change our diet, go to the gym, and finally lose that unwanted weight. We’re going to change our spending, budget more tightly, and finally save up that extra cash. We’re going to change our schedule, make more time for the Lord, and finally make 2015 the year we read our Bible every day.
Why are we so consumed with change? Well, let’s be honest. Because we love ourselves, we want our best life now, and we’re smart enough to recognize ways in which our body, budget, and schedule isn’t optimized for that best life. In many ways, our resolutions for change can be primarily driven by the kingdom of self.
At the same time, however, change is the primary objective of the Father for each of his beloved children. The Bible tells us that while the power of sin has been broken, the presence of sin still remains, so while we await the return of Christ, the Holy Spirit is working to progressively eradicate sin from our hearts.
You can sum up God’s agenda for your life in one word: change.
In the coming weeks, we’re going to study this idea of change using Psalm 51 as our biblical backdrop. I love Psalm 51, because in it, we hear David cry out for change. But David isn’t looking to change his diet or budget or schedule – he’s seeking a changed heart (Psalm 51:10).
As we prepare to think about change, we need to start with three questions.
First – are you satisfied with who you are? I’m deeply persuaded that the problem with many Christians is not that we’re dissatisfied; no, I think we’re all too easily satisfied! We’ve accepted our flaws and weaknesses, either because we’ve given up or grown indifferent. Hear this: you should be content with God’s plan for your life and rest in his forgiving grace, but as a sinner, you should never be satisfied with who you are.
Second – are you quick to hire a defense attorney? When my wife, in faithful love, points out a wrong in me, my first response is rarely one of humble confession. Instead, I gather evidence of my righteousness and go to court to defend my words and actions, even when I know she’s accurate! It makes no sense for a follower of Christ to do that. If the penalty for our sin has been paid in full, we are set free to admit to our weakness, sin, and failure.
Third – are you overzealous to help others change? It’s true that God has designed the body of Christ to organically minister to one another, and you’re called to speak the truth in love to your fellow brothers and sisters. But are you quick to point out sin in the life of another while ignoring it in your own? As we study Psalm 51 and think about change, consider your own heart before the heart of someone else you know.
I have shed many tears over Psalm 51 as I prepped. I have been grieved by my own sin and my lack of desire to change, but that doesn’t last long. My tears have been tears of joy and gratitude, because the Lord is committed to changing David and me and you, even when we don’t want it.
Paul David Tripp