Sometimes I find it interesting what different thoughts people have about being a follower of Jesus. I’ve known God a long time, but I used to believe I had to work toward changing everything in my life to be accepted by him. Everything sinful, that is. And that’s a lot of stuff.
Like a lot of stuff.
I have a longtime friend that thinks he would have to give up his heavy metal music and extremely sarcastic personality to become a Christian. And trust me, he’s not doing that.
1 Peter 1:3 says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
That’s kinda all it takes. Being born again to hope and doing it through faith in the resurrection of Jesus. You can still listen to that music. Promise.
When you begin living your life with the hope found in God your heart changes.
In my own life I’ve struggled with gossip and judgment. I never liked the way either made me feel when I was doing it but it’s been a part of my life since I was a small child and I fell right in line with the very thing that used to hurt me.
When I prayed and asked God to help me change that behavior it didn’t happen overnight. I probably still over-talk situations in which I’ve been hurt, which may be judgment and gossip together, but it’s more rare as time goes on. I don’t want to hurt people with my judgments because I only do those things from a place of hurt in my own life.
You don’t change overnight when you accept Jesus into your heart. It’s a day to day thing. Some days are easy-peasy and some days are downright brutal. But your heart will change. Count on it.
Hebrews 13:18-21 says, “Pray for us. We have no doubts about what we’re doing or why, but it’s hard going and we need your prayers. All we care about is living well before God. Pray that we may be together soon. May God, who puts all things together, makes all things whole, Who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, Who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, Now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please him, Make us into what gives him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always! Oh, yes, yes, yes.” (MSG)
God wants to “put all things together” and “make them whole”. He wants to use what others have destroyed and redeem you. He wants to change your heart.
He wants to change your heart. Not your personality.
Now that’s not to say that once you start cleaning up that heart area, certain parts of your personality may not be a casualty of it. I’ve been known to author some pretty nasty notes when I’m hurt. Heart issue. Personality issue because I wanted to hurt someone before they hurt me. I wanted to be mean first. I wanted to be liked and make everyone not like you.
Thank Heavens that part of my personality has changed. Casualty. Welcomed casualty.
Change can be so many things but usually at the end of hard change is redemption. God always redeems. Always restores. It may not look the way we think it should, but it is always, always there.
For me it has been painful, heart-wrenching, lonely, ugly and beautiful.
Change is inevitable. It’s just a fact of life. But like a butterfly, we can either chose to open our wings as a result of change or cling to the old cocoon and die.
Change is not perfect but it can be made beautiful by a perfect God.