Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Change is Inevitible

Change is indeed inevitible. Sometimes we choose it. Other times, it's thrust upon us. We change jobs, houses, and cars. We lose a spouse. A child. Our ability to do things in a way we've become accustom.

This past Sunday, our pastor's sermon was entitled "How to Thrive Through Changes." He used Paul as an example of how we can thrive under unexpected conditions. Speaking from Phillipians 2:1-4, he pointed out that Paul was in jail. It's a pretty good bet that prison was not on Paul's agenda. Yet he not only endured it, he endured it with joy.

How?

First, he focused on others. Instead of having a "whoa is me" attitude, Paul determined to encourage others in the faith. "Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion." I love that first part, "If there is any encouragement in Christ." Like there was any way they could argue with that.

Second, Paul remembered all that God had done for him. "Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose." We don't need to panic when things change, because God never changes.

Lastly, Paul knew it was not about him. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." We have to get really good at dying to self.

Change can lead us places we don't want to go. But if we keep our focus off of ourselves and our circumstances and dwell on God's faithfulness, the tides of change won't seem so rough.

Paul goes on to tell us the Holy result of thriving through change in Phillipians 2:5-11, "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Change can be scary. Painful. Lonely. But if we can change our view of change, change will always be for the better.

Happy Tuesday, y'all.

9 comments:

  1. Great post, Mindy! Thanks for sharing those points.

    Change is tough. But I always try to tell myself that God has something far better in mind than I can even imagine.

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  2. Mindy,

    Excellent post! Dave and I have gone through so many changes in our 6 1/2 years of marriage, that we often say we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves if things were quiet and normal. Besides, what's normal??

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  3. Hi Mindy:

    I love reading books about Paul and his travels. He is amazing. I even climbed up on the huge bolder (the Areopagos) that Paul spoke from in Athens. I looked around and could see what Paul saw. Most of the old building are still there in some form.

    The Athenians were so nice to Paul. They said, “You can speak from the Areopagos – a place of real honor. We want to hear about your god. We even have built a temple to your god.”

    It’s the first temple on the right when you enter the city and it’s called the temple of the gods still yet unknown.

    Paul must have been horrified at first. I wonder if he thought who was it that got to Athens ahead of him.

    When Paul was in a shipwreck he helped save the Centurion who was there to guard him. Sadly, the Governor who would have heard the charges against Paul didn’t get a chance to rule on the case. Paul insisted, as a Roman citizen, that the Emperor hear his case in Rome. The Governor liked Paul and wrote in his diary that he would have found him innocent.

    Pual understood change but he could not predict the future.

    Vince

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  4. Whenever I'm faced with change I'll remember to come and read this post. :)

    I love the quote " "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."

    Thanks for sharing this Mindy :)

    Vince, standing there must have been awesome!

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  5. I'm with Eva, Mindy, when I need to be reminded about what to endure during these times of change, I'll come re-read your post. Excellent and what I needed to be shown during this time.

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  6. Missy, you are so right. God sees the big beautiful picture while we're only looking at a small ugly piece of the puzzle. But boy, can we sure focus on that one ugly piece:-)

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  7. Edwina, I've wondered that too. If you find out what normal is, please let me know.

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  8. Great insight, Vince, as always. Paul is definitely an interesting character. And an excellent example.

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  9. Eva and Christy, I'm right there with you. We'll just have to cling tight to Jesus and press on.

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