Growth & Change

Even though the Ancient of Days enjoys an ageless existence, there are no wrinkles on the brow of the Eternal God. When the kingdoms of men have been worn flat and swept away by the sands of time, there will have not passed a single millisecond for the Almighty. Divine perfection is subject to neither improvement or degradation. The God of Jacob “changes not.” This is why we are not consumed.

For the rest of us change is inevitable. But change does not always signal corruption. Often times our imperfection is the object of change rather than the subject. In such cases it is called “growth.” From the moment of a child’s conception to the day of his birth, his little life is marked by change. This process of maturation is the very thing that demonstrates that the baby is indeed healthy. In fact, there are really only a couple of reasons why a baby in utero may not change—he is either dead or deformed. Given that the child is alive and healthy, he continues to grow and mature until he can live and function in the world.

Once born, the process doesn’t cease, however. The infant becomes a toddler, and then a proper child, then an adolescent, and then continues on into adulthood. Change is not only inevitable, in these instances it is laudable. In the earliest years, the same person may believe that monsters live under this bed and that fairies retrieve his teeth from under his pillow while he sleeps. Later, he may believe that because his voice squeaks when he talks that he is ready to assume control over his future. He is manifestly wrong in both cases. Only more changing, more growth, will rectify such notions. On and on it goes.

I mention this because there is a tendency among some to regard all forms of change as moral corruption. I was having a conversation with a friend earlier and at one point he said contemptibly, “Well, You didn’t used to think that way.” Of course. I used to believe that a cat played the fiddle and a cow jumped over the moon. There was a time when I thought that 30 was old. Once I had it firmly fixed in my mind that “Church History” was the study of our pastor’s formative years. In each scenario I was ignorant. More change, more growth was needed.

If a person never changes then there are only three real possibilities: 1.) He is Divine. 2.) He is Dead. 3.) He is Deformed. Of course, everyone changes so this really means that a fourth option is necessary and obviously applicable; that person is deluded.

At the end of the day, you haven’t made a moral point simply by pointing out that someone has changed their mind about something. That is no argument. You are still obligated to engage the actual position which he holds at the present. It may be that he will change his mind again. Or it just may be that this will be an opportunity whereby you may grow a little.

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