Being persistent to bring about change

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2019

We live in a world where change occurs every day. As a matter of fact, change occurs many times every day. We are either ignorant to it or unaware of it. That is sort of comforting to us, because most of us despise change. However, one thing is sure and certain … change is not going to stop happening just because we don’t like it.

Chris Tiegreen writes, “The age of colonialism, increased trade, and cross-cultural communication came not only with ample enthusiasm for the economic opportunities. It also came with strong doses of fear of the foreign and the unknown. There were plenty of manifestations—Western Europe’s jitters over African and Asian immigrants, China’s Boxer Rebellion, the Ottoman Empire’s aversion to the printing press — but they all expressed the same principle. From all sides, everyone wanted to protect their own cultural identity. That’s understandable, especially in a world in which countries are bent on exploiting each others strengths. But as people who are supposed to be conforming to the culture of God’s kingdom, we can’t bring the same fear of the unknown into our spiritual growth. After all, we serve a God who is making all things new. Fear of the new is the last thing we need. At a spiritual level, many people stay stuck in the familiar — even when the familiar isn’t serving them well. But the gospel is all about change, and the only way to change is to step out of the old and into the new. That requires courage and initiative, as well as a good bit of persistence. But it’s worth it. What God offers us is always good, even if it’s unfamiliar or unsettling. Embrace it and experience the gospel in its fullness.”

Without embracing change, we cannot experience the fullness of God in Christ Jesus. For change was why Jesus was sent, and it was change in which Jesus was willing to die, and it was change that occurred forever on an early Sunday morning long ago. And for those of us who consider ourselves followers of Jesus today, we are charged with continuing to spread the Word of change to the whole world around us. As Chris Tiegreen stated you need to summon courage, take divine initiative, and be persistent for a different outcome to occur.

When was the last time you were courageous for Christ, embraced the initiative prompted by the indwelling of God’s spirit, and pressed on with persistence even in the midst of pushback?

If we want to see something different happen, it begins with us. If we want to see lasting and loving change in the world, it may be best to follow the One who came and changed it for all eternity. He gave his life … to what do you give yours?

Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is