The Dreaded “C” Word…
October 31, 2019
by Krystal Maddox, DDS
“I DON’T WANT TO!” The infamous words of every toddler. But, if we are honest, these are also our words. Change is sometimes not a welcomed friend as it may bring about anxiety about the uncertain path before us. Countless circumstances may force us to change: a new job, opening a practice, taking a practice to the next level, getting married, having a child, caring for aging parents, etc. Often, we still do not welcome change, though we know it is needed for us to thrive in our new life circumstances or in circumstances we desire to have. If we are not proactive in developing ourselves to adapt to new personalities at a job, making sure we have our family as a priority despite the demands of opening a practice, adjusting our schedule to accommodate caring for an aging loved one or the other myriad of events that are destined to happen in life, then change will force itself upon us. It will happen when existing life circumstances hurt more than the process of change.
The apostle Paul is a great example of someone who needed to undergo change. He had an extensive list of accolades and prestige in the Jewish community as he was “…circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:5-6, NKJV). Yet, despite his zeal for what he thought was correct, he was confronted by the Lord Himself and was instructed to change his understanding of who God was and recognize Christ as Savior. Ouch! A 180-degree turn of his current beliefs, what a weighty change he was confronted with! There are some key things that occurred in Paul’s transformation found in Acts 9:
- He immediately surrendered once he realized a change was needed: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9:6, NKJV).
- He consulted the Lord in prayer regarding his plight (Acts 9:11).
- He was surrounded by believers who helped him, namely Ananias (Acts 9:17) and Barnabas (Acts 9:26-27) among others.
- He made a decision to incorporate this new information into his life resulting in decisive action: “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” (Acts 9:20, NKJV).
Because Paul walked that difficult road of change initially, he excelled in advancing God’s kingdom in a profound way! He became so convicted of his new lifestyle that he called his previous accolades “rubbish” (Philippians 3:8, NKJV).
So how can we learn from Paul and approach change?
- Recognize the need for change.
- Spend time in consecrated prayer and meditation asking the Lord to prepare you for that new job, baby, marriage, etc. When life changes suddenly, ask God what change is needed of you to adapt to your current life circumstances, be it an ill or aging family member or wayward child.
- Have godly accountability partners who you can be vulnerable with and who can recommend some ways you may need to change—even when you don’t want to hear it.
- Take feedback from the Lord and others. Make a plan of action and actually incorporate it into your daily life. Move that schedule around, choose to be present at your children’s games vs. staying late at work, choose to have a date night weekly to help your marriage. Every decision starts with a choice stemming from a desire for change.
Let’s welcome change and transitions in our lives as an opportunity to become even more like Christ, and remember that although things in our lives may change, He never will!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
– Hebrews 13:8, NKJV
“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing…”
– Isaiah 43:18-19, NKJV