I have been hearing a lot about “change”. Seemingly, everyone wants change, but they want someone else to make the change for them. And, it seems to me that the folks making the most noise about wanting change are the ones who have never had any real need for it.
So, I’ve been wondering what sort of change people are hoping for, and why. It’s obvious that the majority of Americans believe they want change, but what does that mean? I would be willing to bet that if I did an informal survey, it would mean something different for every one of us. But why? In the greatest country in the world, why are so many people dissatisfied, disillusioned, angry and bitter?
I have come to the conclusion that the reason so many Americans are screaming for change is because they are unhappy with themselves, and are unwilling to do what it takes to change themselves. Whether people like it or not, truth is not negotiable or relative. As Flannery O’Connor said, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” However, when people become unwilling to accept truth, then they start making their own rules. And, because misery loves company, they recruit as many people as they can to agree with them. It doesn’t matter, by the way, how many people agree with something that is not true. It’s still not Truth.
Some things are absolutes. Murder is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Lying is wrong. Adultery and fornication are wrong. Apostasy, heresy, disordered passions. It’s all wrong. It doesn’t matter if we like it or not. All of us have committed some form of “wrongness”, and some of us are up to our necks in it. (Back in the day we called those “wrongnesses” s-i-n-s.) If we live in sin, we separate ourselves from God. If we separate ourselves from God, then we will be unhappy. The only way to feel good about ourselves again is to get our lives together, from the inside out, and reconcile with God.
Now, I’m not referring to condemnation. Too many people have been fatally wounded (in a spiritual sense) by the threat of a condemning, hellfire and brimstone god. They’ve been told that they are hellbound rotten sinners, and insulted to the point that they really would rather burn in hell than accept the god that’s being shown to them. Christianity is supposed to be a religion of love and mercy, of forgiveness. If we could only grasp a tiny understanding of how very much God loves all of us, we would be blown away. We would want to change ourselves to make Him happy! Somehow, the message is not getting through!
I’m talking about a healing, freeing, reconciliation with God. It really is that simple, but it ain’t easy. It is however, worth the effort. Accepting that if we live according to His requirements, we will be happy, joyous and free. Things might be really bad in this life, but as long as we can keep our eyes on the big picture, on eternity, it makes it all worthwhile. If we don’t live according to His requirements, well, we’re gonna be really, really unhappy, and we’re gonna start screaming for change.