It was one of the ancient scholars who said, “Nothing is permanent, except change.” Things in life are going to change. You cannot stop change. You age. You go through different periods of life, and you cannot return to the past. I look at another year coming and going – there have been changes in family and friendships because of the losing and the gaining of people. There is also the development of different traditions and experiences. William Arthur Ward said, “Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.” How we respond to inevitable change is really the difference in the impact such changes have on our lives.
If you don’t think things are constantly changing, just consider the things people were buying this past Christmas compared to the years before. Next year something else will be the hot ticket item and it is probably not even invented yet. Everything is always new, new, new! We are consumed by “new and improved!” But new is not always better. We need to make sure that whatever is introduced into our life is worth keeping. At the forefront of the correct response to change is the recognition of what is constant. The only true constant is God (Mal . 3:6; Heb. 8:13).
Here a quick list of new things that aren’t necessarily better: politicians, legislation, toys, jewelry, homes, information, cars, methodology, clothing, tools, technology, music, software, medications, wrinkles and gray hair…
How can we measure something to be better when it is new?
1. Has it strengthened or improved my relationship with God?
- Acts 9:22 – “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”
- Luke 2:52 – “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
2. Has it made me more effective or useful?
- 2 Tim. 2:21 – “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from being a vessel of dishonor, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
3. Has it blessed my life and caused my life to be blessing others?
- 2 Tim. 4:11 – “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.”
4. Would its absence be a greater blessing than its presence?
- Psalm 20:7 – “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”
Change is inevitable – and things that are new continue to be introduced into our lives. We need to be mindful of what we allow to become a part of us. We have to power to accept or reject it and we need help from God and discernment to know the difference.
So as we look to a new year, we need to exalt Christ and let our relationship with Him be the determining factor as to how we deal with the new. After all, He is the one who really changed everything for the better forever. He is the ultimate of “new and improved.” He is the answer. He is the only one who can renew us daily. Everything He is changing in us is a needful change.
“Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’” – Rev. 21:5
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Cor. 5:17
AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum