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April 2, 2013

Fighting Our Hatred of Change

One reason life change is really difficult



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Lately I've noticed a double standard when it comes to change. While it's pretty apparent that most people hate change—after all, many of us go out of our way to keep things the same—we talk about how great change is, especially in small groups. One minute we're complaining about our frustration over a change at work, and the next we're supposed to embrace how the Holy Spirit is prompting us to change into the likeness of Christ. How can a people who hate change (and work against change) be people who embrace change?

Well it seems that will require some change.

Seriously, though, we talk often about changing and becoming more Christlike. And we try to help our group members apply Scripture to their lives, identifying clear action steps. But asking our group members to change fights against an ingrained hatred—or at least wariness—toward change. Yet living out kingdom values requires that we turn societal norms upside down, deliberately making changes in our lives that reflect kingdom values.

Strike up a conversation with your group about change at your next meeting:
1. When have you been upset about change? When have you been excited about change? What made those situations different?
2. As a general rule, when you find out about change coming your way, do you feel excitement or dread? Do you move forward in confidence, or do you try to work against the change? Why?
3. What is our initial reaction when you feel God wants you to change something in your life?
4. What does it look like to embrace change? What does it require?
5. Change often requires a lot of effort. How can we put in the effort required to make positive changes in our life without losing hope and giving up?

posted by Amy Jackson on April 2, 2013 8:00 AM

Related Tags: Discussion, Life change, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth, Transformation

Comments

Of course, our country is in a constant mode of change right now. Unfortunately, it is change for the worse. One of the reasons change is so difficult is we are pushing against the direction the entire world is headed. Also, our sin nature naturally wants to move with the world. Only the Holy Spirit that lives within us allows us to change and become like Christ.

When teaching, it is important to help people see the root sin behind an action, belief, prejudice, etc. Once they see something for what it really is, they are ready for change. Once they are ready for change, they are ready to listen to how your lesson can help them make that change.

You bring up great points, Bradley! The way we are heading so often puts us in direct opposition with the world around us. Your tips for teaching, though, are very helpful. When small-group leaders help group members see the sin issue behind the action, belief, etc. they are more likely to see the need to change. And then we can help them open themselves to the work of the Holy Spirit changing them from the inside out. When they see the need for change, our study/discussion/lesson takes on new meaning and urgency.

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