The other day my teenage daughter came to me with a photo of her when she was a toddler. Because we adopted her when she was older, I didn’t know her back then. She told me what she remembered about the photo and the circumstances. It made us chuckle at the changes that have taken place between then and now.
I am reminded of this conversation as I am processing the news of a well known ex-pastor who renounced his faith. Many years ago his message on dating had swept through Christian circles like a wildfire. Today, he has apologized for the message of that book and has changed his mind on Jesus altogether.
I must admit it scares me a little. When those who made undeniable commitments to relationships, spouses, and their faith suddenly walk away, what is one to think and do?
The fact is that humans change. From the time we are conceived to the time we leave this earth we are in the constant process of change. Good and bad. Beside the physical changes that occur, we become different friends, spouses, parents, and different followers of Christ. I am not the child I used to be, nor the wife I was 30 years ago, nor the mother I was to my babies. I am also not the Christian I was when I first gave my heart to Jesus.
As Christians we are to look to the One who doesn’t change and His unchanging Word. He has chosen to pour out His eternal, unchanging message through imperfect, changing vessels. While we are encouraged in the Word to be Holy as God is Holy so that the love of God can be seen, we must also understand our depravity before God without Jesus.
The Gospel does not change. It was set in place before God created man and always will be the only means by which we can approach His throne for all Eternity. The messengers change. The message does not.
When I grow in the knowledge of such amazing news and in the understanding of my depravity, the Gospel becomes greater. The awareness of God’s grace to me becomes an ever-increasing gift. This awareness of God’s unchanging love toward me may continue to change me toward more Christlikeness. However, I must let humility do its changing work.
While we may become frustrated with the changes in our lives and the people around us, we can be assured that God and His Gospel do not change.
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?
“Lord, everything around me seems to change continually.
Please keep me from making idols of flawed ideas and feeble people.
Keep me steadfastly chasing after Christ and Your Word, which stand forever.”