Saturday, July 04, 2015

Either Deep Change or Forever Spiritual Babies

Broken limb in Monroe
When, in Romans 12:1-2, we are told to not be conformed in the shape of this world but are to be morphed (transformed; a change of form) by the renewing of our minds, this is a matter of deep, internal, systemic and structural transformation. This is concerns our personal being. If our being is changed, our doing will be changed.

What a person does is, for the most part, a function of what a person is. One's everyday choices, attitudes, and actions give evidence of a person's heart. If one chooses to do something which is antithetical to their heart, and persists in doing that thing, it will eventually lead to a transformation of the heart.

Howard Thurman says that “growth means development in the life of an organism. It means change manifest in structure.” “Change manifest in structure” is: transformation. This is structural, systemic change. As this happens it leads to changes in attitude and behavior.

Thurman writes: “There are many adults who for various reasons have escaped this essential discipline of their spirit. True, in terms of physical and intellectual development they have continued to grow. Their bodies and minds have moved through all the intervening stages to maturity, but they have remained essentially babies in what they expect of life.” (Howard Thurman: Essential Writings, 52)

Two things work together to bring about, by God's Spirit, deep change in the human heart. They are:
  1. Abiding in Christ. Connect yourself, daily, to Jesus, like a branch is connected to the vine.
  2. Obedience. Choose this day whom you will serve. Consistently choosing righteous, Jesus-behaviors, will bring about new habits of the heart.
  3. 1 & 2 often operate in a dialectical fashion, with a give-and-take between the two, one leading to the other, and so on.
Without doing this a person will not mature spiritually, and will remain forever infantile. They may have a mature physical body, but their spirits "have remained essentially babies in what they expect of life."