One of the more prevalent forms of evangelical teaching focuses upon giving intellectual assent to a set of statements, such as “I’m a sinner” and “Jesus died for my sins.” At times, conversion is presented as simply agreeing that certain statements are true and then saying a prayer to that effect.But we don’t change our lives through a series of thoughts. And, really, so much of the spiritual life is beyond intellectual comprehension anyway. I might agree with every single statement you make about Jesus and Christianity, but those statements will not provide an adequate explanation for the more profound mysteries of life.In order to follow Jesus (actually, in order to make any significant change), something fundamental in a person must shift.
– Vinita Hampton Wright
This is so true ….
Real change happens when Shifts happen….and shifts often come in the package of Tragedy, Hardship, Hurts, Pain, Sorrow, and Trial.
Every time I have had a major shift in my thinking, living, doing, my BEING.
It has always been through these.
Like that time many many years ago when I was a self-righteous young lady who believed I was doing right because I was following the rules and I treated others who didn’t follow those rules with disdain. I put on my “Love Like Jesus Smile” but my heart was for from it. I didn’t see this at the time. But when I got a letter from a friend who really loved me enough to show me myself. It rocked my world and for the first time I saw my ugliness, my smug sense of rightness and absence of real love only after I freak out that she was soooo wrong. But GOD who is good…reveals all truth to His followers. This began the walk of loving and accepting people where they are.
Or like the time my Gossiping mouth created something I never could have foreseen. Being indifferent to the truth that these things take on a life of their own and will only get worse as the unkind words leave lips and fall on hearts. Sharing the darts that others have said with those who they are intended to hurt is a lot like just stabbing them yourself. I learned how to shut my mouth. If it doesn’t benefit the situation…give it to the Lord.
Or how about the time I told myself for a very long time that I didn’t want another baby. Then when I got pregnant I was angry and selfish. I had one daughter and she was independent and I didn’t want to be tied to diaper bags and strollers, much less a kid. Then I had a miscarriage. I was filled with guilt for my irritation. I realized how I had often blamed God in that pregnancy for imposing on my life. I realized my hardness of heart and my struggle to control my own life. As if I could just tell God no. Or call Him up like a genie and get what I wanted wrapped in a perfect package just how I planned. My conviction and guilt slowly gave way to grief. Under all that self-importance was a desire for more love, more joy wrapped up in a child. Later I became pregnant again with MUCH JOY and we had our son David. He brings more FUN and Excitement into our home than anyone I know. I learned that God is sovereign and I can trust Him to give me just what I need.
and there have been many many more lessons and tears and wake up calls….
BUT THAT’S LIFE!
Hebrews 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
All these things we go through are for our learning…find the lessons..find your way to God through the tears…wake up and walk in the Light that is shining on the step right in front of you. Make the shift!