Do I Have to Change Again?
It may be the most loved and most hated experience in life. We vacillate on how we feel about it depending on how it affects us. If we have longed for it, then we embrace it with great enthusiasm. If it is “just one more thing” that will be foisted upon us, we resent it deeply. It is inevitable in life and the truth is, we cannot escape it. What is this controversial event? “Change”!
Nothing ever stays the same, but that does not mean that we don’t fiercely fight to prolong some changes as long as possible. We love the changes that bring improvements to the various things we use and enjoy. Those changes make life much more enjoyable. Changes in our physical health, or changes that come because of a relocation, job loss, or marital break-up are all deeply resented and can take a long time to overcome the emotional trauma they may cause.
The most difficult change of all is that of our human nature. We aspire to be upright, noble, holy, and Christ-like. However, we reach a point where old habits are so deeply ingrained that it is really challenging to change them. We have to fight to overcome doing “what comes natural” when that kind of behavior is “unnatural” to what we profess to be as Christ-followers. Jesus came to bring with Him salvation from sin. That means more than forgiveness. It means total transformation that is so radical it is like being “born again”. Clean slate. New beginning. New creation!
Several years ago the Peanuts comic strip had Lucy and Charlie Brown practicing football. Lucy would hold the ball for Charlie’s placekicking and then Charlie would kick the ball. But every time Lucy had ever held the ball for Charlie, he would approach the ball and kick with all his might. At the precise moment of the point of no return, Lucy would pick up the ball and Charlie would kick and his momentum unchecked by the ball, which was not there to kick, would cause him to fall flat on his back.
This strip opened with Lucy holding the ball, but Charlie Brown would not kick the ball. Lucy begged him to kick the ball. But Charlie Brown said, “Every time I try to kick the ball you remove it and I fall on my back.” They went back and forth for the longest time and finally Lucy broke down in tears and admitted, “Charlie Brown I have been so terrible to you over the years, picking up the football like I have. I have played so many cruel tricks on you, but I’ve seen the error of my ways! I’ve seen the hurt look in your eyes when I’ve deceived you. I’ve been wrong, so wrong. Won’t you give a poor penitent girl another chance?”
Charlie Brown was moved by her display of grief and responded to her, “Of course, I’ll give you another chance.” He stepped back as she held the ball, and he ran. At the last moment, Lucy picked up the ball and Charlie Brown fell flat on his back. Lucy’s last words were, “Recognizing your faults and actually changing your ways are two different things, Charlie “Brown!” (Copied). Paul reminded us in Second Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor. 5:17) NIV.