Change is difficult, but it’s also necessary. Most of the time, we don’t like change especially when we feel comfortable with what we have, or where we are. But if there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that things around us will change—whether we embrace it or not.
Change is not only difficult. It’s also scary. When faced with the challenge of leaning in towards change, we put to risk something that currently works for us. When we change our profession, address or attitude, it always means we have to leave the old behind before we can embrace the new. Change is scary, but God calls us into it.
In Mark 2:22, Jesus said, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
God calls for change because it is necessary. When clothes, systems or ideologies get old we are often called into new ones.
Here are three dangers we put ourselves into by refusing to change:
1. Disobedience to God’s calling
While God’s plans and will may remain the same, often the change has to happen with us. I am reminded of the story of Jonah—a man who at first was unwilling to change his attitude towards a city that God called him to. In the end, God brings a great fish to bring Jonah back into his calling.
Don’t wait for the day that you have to get “swallowed by a big fish.” It’s going to be uncomfortable and hard. But if that’s what it’s going to take for God to bring you on your knees and start changing, that’s what He is willing to do, and it’s because He loves you and wants the best for you.
2. Relational strife
An unwillingness to change is not just bad for our relationship with God. It will also affect our relationships with other people. How many times have we heard couples say, for instance, “Lord, change my spouse” with no willingness to change themselves?
When we are unwilling to change, we become people with hardened hearts that look only to our own needs and preferences instead of those of others.
A person unwilling to change will almost always invite relational strife and dysfunction, and this will be rooted in their unwillingness to change.
3. Missing out on opportunities to grow
Change is necessary for growth. An employee cannot work on the exact same principles and attitudes when that person gets promoted. New attitudes and skills will have to be learned and old ones also unlearned. When we stick to old wineskins, we will not have the capacity to experience the new levels of living that God brings us into.
When we are willing embrace change, most especially within ourselves, God sets us up for more growth. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.