Change is something that we face on a regular basis, and whether we want to change or not is irrelevant. Without change we will never learn how to get along with others, and more importantly with ourselves. Actually, if left to our own devices I think it is safe to say that little will ever get accomplished.
According to the Merriam-Webster's dictionary, transformation is "a change in the outward form of appearance or a change in character or condition". In the simplest terms, that would mean that we are literally changing who we are on the inside and that is evident to others. However, we have to be careful that we are actually changing, and not just giving the illusion that we have changed.
The bible tells us to not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2, NIV). What would happen if we choose to read this scripture as if it was a principle telling us how to change? Let's explore this concept further.
It has been proven that one of best ways to change a child's behavior is through behavior modification. If you do not believe that, just see what will happen when a child is not disciplined! They must receive some unfavorable consequence for their undesired behavior. However, as they get older and are ready to handle it cognitively, you want them to learn how to control their own behavior. When they have reached that point, they are now able to make a conscious decision to choose to do the right thing. Eventually, you hope that they will mature to the point where they can make the decision to do the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do. If they do not, then I guess that explains the state of society today. Many adults are still acting very much like little children with little internal discipline and still seeking to do what they please, with little regard to what society believes is morally wrong.
When we think about the spiritual life of the Christian, their transformation goes through a similar process. As a new saint they also have to go through the process of change. However, if the change is strictly based on behavior modification, their heart and mind never has the opportunity to change. These individuals are still very much the same years later, stuck as spiritual babes depending on the punishment system to change their behavior. Unfortunately, if they are judged and promoted by their merits alone, you are faced with another tragic issue we are seeing increasingly growing in the body of Christ, a spiritual babe with a title. Be careful that you are not of those people. If you are still limiting your change to avoid the consequences of sin, you have not completed the process of transformation.
If true change is going to occur, it is going to take a honest assessment of what you are thinking. If your thought process has not changed, you still have work to do. I encourage you this week to take a moment to consider how you are thinking, for as a man thinketh - so is he!
Be Blessed - Min. Karen