Change?

We had an interesting conversation at our house church last night about spiritual growth. Some of us have been Christians a long time and feel like we haven’t grown at all, that we still struggle with the same sins, that our inner selves have not been conformed to Christ.

Something one person said struck a chord with me – they said they didn’t want a technique, because a technique or a habit is about psychology, when this should be about God working in us. I guess I’ve got to figuring that God works through holy habits and techniques, but this comment jolted me out of a certain complacency.

For me, I think change is more likely to happen as we start being real to each other and admitting the ways in which we haven’t changed. When we don’t feel the need to keep up a holy facade. Accountability and spiritual disciplines – I think these two things will put us in a place where God can work on us.

Easy to say; I wonder how often it happens. I don’t have the simple confidence I once had. I know that  my path of discipleship is a meandering one. There is no book or technique or simple answer that will put me on a straight path for the rest of my life. It’s good to try, but it’s essential to know that it won’t work out just for my trying. And sometimes we’re in a desert and we have to wait for God to appear again. That’s where I’ve been for a while, and I’m finally waiting.

What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “Change?

  1. I think that the older I get the further I realise I have to go.
    I think that the older I get the more gracious God becomes
    I think that the older I get the more I (genuinely) want to be christlike as opposed to being a super-christian
    I think that discipleship is hard, but also beautiful
    I have realised that as I get older I just struggle with different issues to when I was younger.
    I have also realised that in all of my own meandering I am probably more christlike than I was 20 years ago… so maybe I am doing something right after all!

  2. “…because a technique or a habit is about psychology…”

    I agree. Our house church often gets into discussions where we’re all amateur psychologists analysing ourselves and each other. Perhaps it’s not as useful as we’d like to believe. Lord, may you work through us and sometimes despite us (:

  3. Found your writings via the wiki entry on John Howard Yoder. Nice summary of the POJ. I was a student at Goshen when John Howard was on the faculty there – as difficult to listen to as to read 🙂

  4. I think it is a bit like learning to dance. We let our partner (Jesus) lead and we relax into his arms and follow. Along the way we make fools of ourselves and step all over other people’s feet and never quite get in the rhythm, but slowly, without realizing it, we get better. Best not to take ourselves too seriously. Take the dancing lesson seriously, but not ourselves. When you’ve got two partners who want to lead, it only gets worse. Anyway, that’s a woman’s perspective. 😉

  5. It’s cool to know that house churches in Australia are talking about the same things as house churches in Louisiana USA. Foster’s book has got many of us interested in the writings of times past. Try out the little book: The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life from Tan publishers. The psychological problem: we discovered Grace but oddly this blessing created in us the desire to accomplish a great work: to be the good servant, to become spiritually perfect, to develop the interior life and know Jesus utterly. We don’t want to be New Age or Self-Help about this: we want to rather relinquish the self, not improve it!

    I loved the clarity, the love of Christ in this book, the humility.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  6. Hey Doug – yes, I think reading Yoder is easier, because you can go over sentences four times till they make sense. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

    Hey Barbara – I like that analogy. Now if only I could feel God in my arms as strongly as a dance partner!

    Hey Julie, sounds like a great book. Thanks for visiting.

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