By Pastor Christopher Ek
In the letter to the church in Rome, Paul reminds the church about God’s work in them. He writes to them: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Unless you were living in a cave without news or information for the last 6 months it was tough to avoid the 2012 election. Throughout the election there were debates of competing policies in all arenas of life, each of them promising to make our country and the world we live in more livable. Then this week I came upon this quote from John Ortberg who was answering a question on personal transformation. (He was not speaking directly about political policies, but on what truly
works to change the world around us.)
There’s a quote from T.S. Elliot where he says that the problem with the human race is that we all want a system that is so perfect that it does not require us to be good. So there’s this illusion that there is some system out there and it could be an economic system or a political utopia. We could have that same idea about the church, that there could be (or should be) a church where its structure, governance, preaching, teaching, whatever was such a great system that I can experience great community without going through the pain of having to be transformed myself. And of course
there is no system like that. -John Ortberg
This does not mean we ignore implementing systems that help our society, we should strive to
implement the best systems and policies we can. But, we also must recognize the true power of transformation for ourselves and for the world around us begins with Jesus Christ. We must ask ourselves, “How am I becoming different because of Jesus Christ?”
Take a little time this week and reflect on the following questions about ongoing transformation in
- Is my capacity to love others increasing? (Am I growing into a more loving person?)
- Am I measuring my life increasingly by things like spiritual fruit, goodness, kindness, and risk taking
- in Jesus’ name, or do I hold onto old scoring system like possessions, status, and money?
- Am I increasingly trusting God to care for my daily needs?