We have all undergone some significant changes in the last two months. Most of us have had to change our work habits (or whether we have work), our home routines, our relationship dynamics, school, kids, shopping, eating, worshiping…the list seems endless. All of these changes have been forced on us. No one asked us if we would like them to happen—they just did. And that leaves us feeling out of control. That can lead to tension, anxiety, depression, anger, even abuse—and all of these are on the increase all across the US.
And now, just as we think we’re getting the hang of this isolation thing, we are told to start getting ready for re-entry. Except, again, there will be changes. We are preparing to go back into a world without even knowing what the rules are for that world.
It would seem change isn’t all that good.
But it can be.
Consider this: People (and organizations by the way) undergoing change are more ready to make changes because they are already in “change” mode. This makes it easier for us to make changes that are good if we decide to make them.
The key is we decide. When we get to decide, instead of feeling out of control, we experience self-control. Instead of feeling powerless, we feel the ability to make our own decisions. Instead of feeling we are just adrift being thrown about by whatever winds or waves happen in the world, we get to chart our own course and make sure we stay on that course.
All this is natural because God created us with our own will and intended for us to use it. In fact, in Galatians 5 the culmination of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
This is a good thing! We decide what to change, when to change, even how to change.
So, what changes should we make?
Most of us are already experiencing changing patterns in our family life. Why not take advantage of that and build strength into our family? Intentionally improving communication, conflict resolution, what we do when we are together…all with permanent benefits if we decide to change.
Of course, many of us are already hurting because of the changes forced on us. Our relationships are wounded—we’re wounded. Some of us are wondering how we’ll be able to pay the bills next month—or next week. It is easy to give in to the fear and frustration we already feel.
So, here’s a paradox. God wants us to be in control (remember the fruit of the Spirit), but for us to be in control, we first have to accept His Lordship over our lives. Not just a sweeping statement of faith, but a day to day, moment to moment commitment that says “Lord, I’m going the wrong way here. Give me the wisdom and strength to be faithful to you right now”. This is essential for those who have never accepted the Lordship of Jesus. But it is also important for those of us already under His Lordship to make certain we are continuing to be faithful in specific situations. When we’re ready to do this, we’re ready to make good changes.
If anyone needs help with this process, contact your church leadership, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I offer in-person or online pastoral counseling and spiritual health coaching at a guaranteed affordable rate.
Know Jesus and Be Faithful.