Things that have changed.

I have been a dedicated Christian for 3 years now. It has not always been easy and I’ve fought a few things but I can easily say I’ve been on this road for three straight years and couldn’t be happier about it. If you are a Christian for any amount of time there is a lot of discussion about character that takes place. It’s been one of those things that I haven’t really understood mostly because there is so much emphasis on our effort to change in many Christian circles. What must I do and not do in order to be counted as a Christian. Sadly this totally misses the mark of grace and the power of the cross. Character is important and it’s a discussion we need to have but it need not be about our own effort to change but rather how we’ve changed regardless of our effort as we have drawn nearer to God. I’d like to illustrate this by sharing some of the areas I’ve noticed changes in my life without really trying to change.

  •  I am much slower to anger: I’ve always had a notoriously bad temper especially when things aren’t going my way. I have been known to curse people out in my car when they cut me off, laying on the horn. I’ve kicked and thrown a few trash cans in my day and I’ve broken things. Not things I am proud of but a part of my brokenness. I’ve noticed, without really trying that I am a lot more patient. I’m more patient with other drivers, with general situations in life and most surprisingly I am more patient with myself.
  • Going out to have fun is much less important to me. I loved going to shows, going to karaoke, hanging out at bars and having a good time. I am not opposed to these things but it’s much more common to find me hanging out at home watching a movie with my wife or hanging with friends in their homes. I still get out to sing some but the definition of what a good time is has drastically changed recently.
  • I’m someone who can enjoy a beer, I’ve been known to advertise that face quite a bit. I’ve also been known to post pictures of me drinking a beer or some whiskey but as I’ve grown close to Christ I’ve also become aware of my influence to people I care about. I’ve got a few friends who can’t drink and I have no desire to become a stumbling block to them so I don’t talk about my drinking like I used to.
  • The way that I watch movies and TV and even listen to music has changed. I still enjoy lots of different types of entertainment but I am more apt to think about what I consume. Shows like Family Guy which I used to find really amusing don’t do anything for me anymore. It’s not that I feel like I can’t watch certain things or even that I shouldn’t but I;ve just lost the taste for crude humor.

All of these things which have changed without me working on them. They aren’t areas that I feel like if I didn’t change them I would be in trouble because such thinking again nullifies grace which is free and not earned. The Christian life isn’t about effort it’s about trust. The more I trust Christ the more he renews my character and identity into what it was always supposed to be.

 

What about you? If you are a Christian, what are some area’s that God has transformed you? If you aren’t a Christian what are some area’s that you like to see change but are having trouble?

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