September 14, 2009

Opportunity To Change

Written by Boyd Bailey

Opportunity To Change… “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1

God gives us plenty of opportunities to change, not for change sake, but for Christ’s sake. Indeed the change that seems to challenge us the most is the conversion of wrong thinking into right thinking. Why is this so? What causes us at times to resist righteous rebukes from friends and family motivated by love? We first have to look at our heart and make sure humility is at home and not pride. Stubborn pride flees in the face of a humble heart that listens.

It’s tempting to just amend our current dysfunctional actions and ignore the need for an internal transformation of thinking.  However, a mind captured by Christ invites others to challenge its categories. “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b). There is a humble teach-ability with those who have been touched deeply by the grace of God. Openness to instruction is an opportunity for growth. “Rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge” (Proverbs 19:25b).

When things don’t go your way look for a better way. Perhaps by letting go of control in the short term, you will gain much more influence in the long term. But, if you buck the process of accountability, you could suffer the loss of severed relationships and your respected reputation in the community. There is not a righteous remedy for those stuck in an obstinate attitude, unwilling to listen to authority’s voice. Destruction awaits a determination driven by dysfunctional behavior, thus a sad conclusion to a sincere start.

Fortunately, grace gives multiple opportunities to listen to the voice of reason. We can invite change at any moment and learn how to be loved by caring correction and wise rebukes. “If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you” (Proverbs 1:23). What areas of my life need to change? Do I wisely receive the loving rebuke of the Lord and loved ones in my life?

Related Readings: Psalm 39:11; Proverbs 9:8; Luke 17:3; 1 Timothy 5:1

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading?

How will I respond?

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