Mar 2, 2011

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Flexibility and Openness to Change

This post was written by Counseling Pastor Jim Ricci.

In a recent Sunday School class I taught, “Bending Without Breaking,” I shared the following topic. All families develop habits, routines, and a set of rules. These patterns are ways to deal with day-to-day life. Some of the more obvious patterns are who cooks, washes dishes, does the laundry, or fixes the car. Other less obvious patterns include: Who has the right to make which decisions? How are differences of opinion handled? How are anger, affection, and other emotions expressed?

The development of a stable family pattern is necessary to deal with all the things a family must face, decide, and accomplish in daily life. But a family must also be able to adapt to new needs and circumstances.

There are a number of common changes most families face. Children get older. Adults switch jobs or retire. Families are reshaped by birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, sickness, and death. Families move to different communities. Family relationships are most likely to remain healthy and strong if families adapt to these changes–and support each other in dealing with change.

Being flexible and open to change is wise when old ways of doing something can be done better, to fulfill the purpose for which it
is done–especially for the purpose of glorifying God.

It was reported that evangelist D.L. Moody wrote the entire theology of Christian life on a page of his Bible. He put it in the
following seven stages of change:

1. Justification………………………………………………………………………………A change of standing before God
2. Regeneration…………………………………………………………………………… A change of nature from God
3. Repentance……………………………………………………………………………… A change of mind about God
4. Conversion………………………………………………………………………………. A change of life for God
5. Adoption…………………………………………………………………………………. A change of family in God
6. Sanctification…………………………………………………………………………… A change of service unto God
7. Glorification…………………………………………………………………………….. A change of place with God

Change is always good if it is done to keep us in conformity with the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

If the goal is to be more like Jesus, and we are not yet there, then it follows that being flexible and open to change is what the
Christian life is all about. It begins with change and does not cease until we please God and become like Him in the resurrection.
(Romans 5:8-10; Romans 6:2-11; Romans 8:11; Philippians 3:10)

Scripture Review: Acts 16:6-10 (Biblical examples of flexibility and openness to change include 2 Corinth 1-11; Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 4:15; Romans 10:1-13).

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

1There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace

“THE PEOPLE, WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD ARE THOSE WHO CAN BE STRETCHED, PULLED, PUSHED, AND
CHANGED BY GOD.” – Charles Swindoll

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