Blog Post by Rodney A. Wilson
Rodney Wilson is a regular guest post writer on Selma on Leadership. Rodney has been a marriage and family pastor/counselor for almost 20 years. Rodney and Selma have been married for 40 years and they have spoken and written on marriage and family issues for most of their married life.
To whatever extent I am a decent counselor can be partly attributed to my golden retriever personality. A golden retriever is the most loyal animal on the planet… so dependable, predictable and reliable.
What is the strength of a golden retriever? Steadiness. I’m the kind of guy who could work on an assembly line (remember those?) and install this widget into that gadget day after day, year after year. Steadiness. Hey, before robots came along, somebody had to do it.
What is the downside of a golden retriever? We don’t like change. We are very comfortable with our sameness, thank-you. “Let’s keep things as they are” is our mantra.
Presidential administrations come and go. Reorganizations happen at work. Occasionally the St. Louis Cardinals do not win the World Series. My Atlanta Braves will get better (oh wait, that might be a bad example). Change happens. Good or bad, change is here and it’s here to stay. Someone once said it’s the one constant.
Change happens to you regardless of your personality. So how can you help your kid who is struggling with change? Or what do you say to your wife when change happens abruptly in her life? What is the best way to view change?
Here are three ways this beast can be a blessing to us:
1. Change prevents stagnation.
It’s the slow and subtle fade. Very hard to detect but the same thing done the same way over and over can eventually lead to a loss of effectiveness and quality. I like chocolates but if I never ate anything else, eventually I will grow sick of them.
I once heard a preacher encourage his married couples to be creative in the bedroom. He said this would combat boredom creeping into this part of their marriage. Then he said, “Boredom will kill a couple’s sex life.” Wise words. Changing things up can keep them attracted to each other.
Fight stagnation by being open to change in how you live your life. Change keeps things fresh! Adjustments? Yes. Stagnation? No. What helps me as a GR is to continually remind myself that not all change is bad. And even if the change is bad, God will redeem it. I call it the 8:28 syndrome. That is, Romans 8:28 tells us that God works in all things (even change!) for good for those who love Him and are called by Him. When change in my life is bad, 8:28 is a huge comfort.Fight stagnation by being open to change in how you live your life. Change keeps things fresh! Click To Tweet
2. Change provides opportunity for growth.
Read up on the vocation God has called you to do. Seek to improve (that means change) your work. If God has called you to it, be the best you can be. “Whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory” (HCSB). That new position to which you have been assigned holds all kinds of development for you!
A young student pastor came to me years ago concerned about his supervisor not treating him fairly. His boss had come in radically and suddenly changing things up with little regard for anyone in his way. I told the young minister he would grow from this experience, learning how to treat those he supervised one day. Today, he is a pastor and an excellent leader of people.As my dad was dying (one of the ultimate changes in life) my wife told me, “This is going to make you a better counselor”. She was right of course. I grew from that difficult change and can now connect with people in a way I couldn’t before.
See the change in your life as a growth opportunity for you.
3. Change can point you to a dependence on God.
For many of us, change can create a helpless feeling, like your life is spinning completely out of control. In the midst of his helplessness Paul leaned on God. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses … for when I am weak, then I am strong. (ESV)
How wise are we to look to the One who has it all under control. He knows how this unexpected curve thrown your way will play out. He knows what growth can come from the unforeseen turn in your life. He sees what is unforeseen to us. And He holds it all!Not all change is bad. And even if the change is bad, God will redeem it. Click To Tweet
Yes, some say change is the only constant in this world. I would suggest there is an even more reliable Constant. How about “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” (KJV)? Run to Him when change unnerves you. He is the constant.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for this and a time for that. To build up, to tear down, etc. The writer is essentially telling us change in this world happens. So comforting to know that whatever lies around the corner that will change our lives we have a God who will never leave us and never changes.