The week before I walked out on my husband he asked me, “why should I change?”. I could have said “to keep me”; but he wasn’t asking for a valid motive, he was reaffirming his conviction not to change – it was purely rhetorical.
I was reminded this week how much of what we do as biblical counsellors is encourage people towards change. For some reason, adults are very, very reluctant to embrace change. Most of the people who come to us, come because they are experiencing serious life consequences resulting from choices they have made or that others made that deeply affected them.
Change: Do we believe in it? Can a leopard change his spots?
Consider the alcoholic, who has lost their job, their family, their dignity and yet continues to drink! Consider the embittered wife who makes life difficult for everyone around her; who only seems to find joy in making others miserable! Consider the man who works late every evening and always volunteers to come in at the weekend, so he won’t have to face his family…
The other week a heroin addict whom we have been working with for almost a year was kicked out by his parents. As he walked away from them, we called out to let him know he’s not alone; we’re there for him. We called his name 10, 15 times and he didn’t even slow his pace. Being stubborn and a little ‘sturvy’ we followed him in the car, shouting his name until he stopped and looked at us.
As we followed him in the car, I was reminded that this is just a glimpse of how God must feel. He calls us to himself, offering relationship and freedom from all the garbage that binds us to those stupid choices we make every day (why should I change?).
Consider who we are.
The Greatest Reminder
My colleague reminded me that God waited 40 years for the opportune time to rescue me from my foolish and disobedient ways – he rescued me from a lifestyle of indulgence and lusts… I wouldn’t say I particularly hated anybody, but my entire world existed only of ME! I was my own god, and demanded that everyone worship me! I slavishly clung to the idea that everyone should agree with my way of doing things.
When God rescues you, he enters into a relationship with you. A relationship that builds and grows over time. The relationship grows as you seek to embrace the freedom he gives you – the freedom not to swim in garbage (slavishly clinging to your old ways). This process only started when I turned forty – that’s a lot of old, bad habits! I continue to walk with Jesus and trust him to continue changing me – even as I walk with others and encourage them to turn to him, so that they can enjoy those same benefits of freedom and relationship.
*This article was first published on reachtheflats.capetown/blog/