There’s really no point in denying it.
I want to be changed. Transformed. Broken down and ground up into powder and mixed with water and remolded and reshaped into the image of Jesus, the Christ. Then fired in the kiln so I won’t shape-shift again. If that’s what it takes.
And that’s always what it takes.
I want that for everyone.
I won’t lie about how much it hurts to give up self and dreams and what-I-want. I’ve been experiencing the long slow process of it for the better part of fifty years now. Trust me on this. It hurts.
Still I want it for everyone.
Because the life it leads to is so much richer than the one with all the “me” stuff. The one that ends with having and achieving and compiling and dying.
And I want to be an agent for as many who are willing to make that change along with me.
So I will run into opposition from those who don’t want to change. Those who know better than me. Who already have everything right and whose churches have everything right. Who don’t need to reconsider anything because there’s no possibility that they’ve been wrong about anything.
But that’s all just silly.
Change is what becoming a follower of Jesus is all about.
What do they think “repent” means?
Change doesn’t happen all at once. It isn’t over when the confession of sin and Jesus’ lordship leaves our lips. It isn’t complete when the last droplet of baptismal water evaporates from the skin. It’s a lifetime of growth, learning, seeking, finding, studying, questioning, reasoning, praying, meditating, listening, loving, living, forgiving, acting, doing, trying, failing, and trying again. Then dying to self. Then really, really living.
Part of that process is traveling with others, conversing, sharing, challenging, being challenged, agreeing, disagreeing, being accountable to, confessing, needling, prodding — and being willing to accept all of that.
It’s treating everyone with respect, cherishing equality, acting justly, loving mercy, walking with humility, loving deeply, trying very hard not to judge, seeing a father God in the faces of everyone you meet, refusing to discriminate because of anything different from self. Anything.
So that’s what I try to do.
Failing frequently, but still determined to try.
That makes me a change agent.
And that’s okay with me.
8 thoughts on “I am a Change Agent”
Some wonderful insightful comments about how change/repentance continues after conversion and as we interact with more mature disciples of Jesus. Our potential perils are settling for is alright with us (sometimes manifested as rebelling) and forgetting that it is all about what is right with God. Thank you for your thoughts. May you continue to seek the way of Christ and to heal from your losses.
Excellent post. I’m working on a project that includes explaining why we need other Christians, the Church, in order to truly love God and be Christian. You’ve given me great food for thought. Thanks so much. Drusilla Barron (http://lovedasif.com/)
Do we need them to truly love God? What if other Christians and the church don’t want that particular person?
I hope that hasn’t been your experience, Mark. If so, then it wasn’t in a church where they understood Jesus’ teaching on the two commandments upon which all the law and prophets depend.
When they said “Repent, repent…” I wonder what they mesnt—-Leonard Cohen
Well said, brother.
Too many of us, including me, heard and experienced “hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized” and there ended the work of the church. There was no rest of it.
Mark, the rest of it would be, “remain faithful unto death.” Rev 2:10
But that was not the responsibility of the church.