Why Change?

In January’s Truth Pursuer, we talked about how much God loves you. He created every hair on your head, and He has amazing plans for your life (even if it doesn’t always feel like it). But if God loves you no matter what, why should you change? What’s the point of eating your vegetables, practicing the piano or cleaning your room? Aren’t you already “good enough”?

Babies Can’t Dunk
Look at a picture of a newborn baby. It has a brain, heart, lungs, eyes, hands and feet—everything you need to play basketball. But as hard as it tries, that baby will not make a good basketball player. It needs to grow up first.

God already knows the person you grow up to be, but He never intended for you to become that person overnight. Growing up is a process—a beautiful, occasionally frustrating process. Along the way, God will take advantage of your still-developing talents and surprising personality changes to do different work in different seasons (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

Time Marches On
You can't stop changing. Don’t believe it? Once you finish this paragraph, convince your stomach to stop digesting food. Let us know how it goes.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they set off a chain reaction that continues today. As a result, unless you work really hard, things tend to get worse instead of better. If you want to stay smart, you have to study. If you want to be healthy, you need to exercise and manage your diet. It’s not always fun, but God knows how hard you’re trying, and He will give you the strength to keep going.

Children, Obey Your Parents
The Bible’s pretty clear about this: Even if you don’t understand why your parents want you to do something, God put them in charge.

If your parents ever tell you to do something that seems wrong, ask your pastor about it. But for the most part, remember that your parents love you and want you to have the best life possible . . . especially when they make you take out the garbage.

Enjoy the Harvest
For a whole month, you kept up with your homework, memorized flashcards and studied with your best friend. When the teacher finally graded the test, you got an A+. Woohoo!

God loves to see you thrive—to do good work everywhere you go. After all, He made us to “be fruitful” (Genesis 1:28). Just make sure you remember two things:

1. What you do doesn’t make you special. Compared to the God of the universe, nobody on Earth has ever done anything remarkable. If you let your accomplishments inflate your ego—to the point that you are cruel to others or disrespectful to God—you set yourself up for major humiliation down the road.

2. Obedience is the goal; success is just a perk. Sometimes good people let the rush of success overwhelm them until it’s like an addiction. They refuse to listen when God asks them to do other things because this thing is going so well. But no matter whether you’re the CEO or the janitor, everybody works for God. He knew how you fit into His plans before you were even born. And if your life has to come crashing down around you for you to realize it, well, it wouldn’t be the first time (Jonah, David, Samson, etc.).

As you finish up your list of New Year’s resolutions, keep telling yourself, “God already loves me.” Because if you truly believe that, then the only changes you need to make are those that draw you closer to Him and the plans He has for you.

Copyright © 2012 Focus on the Family. Photos © Dave Parker/Flickr.com, used under Creative Commons license.