October 27, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Change

Brother-Aaron-236x300In his book, Transformational Groups, author Ed Stetzer says, “…Change never happens until the pain of ‘staying the same’ exceeds the pain of ‘change.’”  Wow!

As I was preaching recently, I asked the congregation a question. I asked, “Do y’all know why I’m fat – uh – ‘fluffy?’”  (Fluffy is a much nicer word. FAT is a cold, hard, insulting word!)

I then told them that I am fat because the pain of staying the same hasn’t exceeded the pain of change. In other words – it’s easier for me to stay fat and unhealthy than to do what it takes to lose weight and be healthier. (That hurt, didn’t it? I heard that collective moan from you readers!) (However, I have now started an exercise routine at the Hogansville Senior Center!) Yea me!

If the truth were known, none of us likes change. We are creatures of habit. We all have our little routines, idiosyncrasies, and particular ways of doing things. And we don’t want our routine upset! And if somebody does upset it, oh my, then we’ve had a bad day!

The truth is that we like things the way we want them and when we want them. That’s all. Why are we that way? Because the pain of staying the same has not exceeded the pain of change.

However, in an ironic twist of faith, in order to build our faith and move us into His service, sometimes God has to allow the pain of maintaining the status quo in our situation, to exceed the pain of change.

Consider the eagle. In Deuteronomy 32:11, the Bible uses the term, “As an eagle stirreth up her nest …” What does that mean? It means that when the eagle builds its nest it uses sticks, branches, and twigs that are extremely rough. It is like a gigantic thorn bed.

However, before she lays her eggs, the mother eagle weaves soft leaves and vines into the branches along with fur from her prey and even plucks out her own soft down to line the nest, covering those jagged thorn-like branches that would puncture the baby chicks, and creates a very comfortable place for her babies.

But when the time is right for the baby eaglets to leave the nest, the mother eagle hovers over the nest and begins to remove those soft leaves and vines. She tosses the fur and down out of the nest. She then stirs the nest, exposing those long thorn-like branches. In other words, she makes the pain of staying the same greater than the pain of change.

Someone has aptly said, “The job of the preacher is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted.” While I don’t know about all that, I do know that the Word of God and the Spirit of God will accomplish the same thing. I have often said when a preacher preaches the Word of God in His anointing and power; it will force people to a point of decision. They will either have to get in or get out. It will bring them to the point where the pain of staying the same is greater that the pain of change.

We don’t like change. However, the truth is that the only constant in life is – change. Nothing ever remains the same. We’re constantly changing.

My personal Hero of the Faith, Pastor Olin McClain, recently said it like this, “One of the great paradoxes of life is that at this very moment you are older than you have ever been, yet you will never again be as young as you are right now.” If we are going to change – now is the time!

I challenge all of us, individuals and churches, to embrace the things in our lives that will force the pain of staying the same to exceed the pain of change and to become all Jesus wants us to be!

Brother Aaron

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