Elder Jason Malveax, Associate Minister Bethesda Temple Church
Change what you think (Romans 12:2)
By Elder Jason Malveaux, Associate Minister
Bethesda Temple Church
Change is the single word most feared in our language. Â Change is not feared, but the idea of challenging the unknown.
Confronting problems without absolute expectations paralyze the best human institutions. Â Marriages are stymied by the fear of change. Â Educational institutions, like great ships, heel tossing personnel off balance when change warrants more than three degrees rudder while the program steams ahead.
Corporations find no motivation to change when their balance sheets continue in the black. Â Governments only change when the people clamor for it.
Yet if we will see the kind of change that makes a real and lasting difference in our institutions, we must seek to change the way we think by determining “what God really wants – what is good, pleasing, and perfect (mature).” Â We must expect to act in a way that is just and right. Â We must change the way we think by making mature decisions, not simply in the context of our generation or culture, but in the sight of God
Changing the way you think, especially in the home, is a matter of personal responsibility. Â The institution of marriage is intended to last a lifetime. Â Remember, Adam declared, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife… (Gen. 2:24)” Â Cleave is the action of following hard after the object of one’s affection and once obtained, adhere to it in such a way that separation causes irreparable damage to both.
What is the change of thought? Â To find fault with one’s spouse is to find fault with self. Â Real change envisions and works to maintain a marriage that is handled with balance and peace in good faith.
Change the way you think. Â Let good faith be the premise rather than think in adversarial terms. Â Our president said it best: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Â We have to know what God wants from us and be satisfied that we are putting to the test and proving the individual and social relevance of truth and love, found in Christ alone, as we “walk humbly with [our] God.”
Institutional change, in our time, sours like milk left in the mouth too long. Â The uncharitable, undignified, and mean-spirited discourse surrounding the most complex issues of our generation have only serviced to add levels of sentimentality, which only drown the light of rationality and faith from the discourse causing the wind to die from the sails of change.
For example, our goal is to raise and educate children to be competitive on the world talent market. Â This is an egregious error. Â We must never set our goals in reference to another. Â Rather, “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.”
We must change the way we think. Â Is it not righteous to educate our young to be fair-minded, well-balanced, peaceable, and humble people? Â Is it not the responsibility of mature adults to raise mature adults? Â We have to change the way we think.
The change spoken of here is not mere motion for motion’s sake. Â In truth, it is doing our due diligence by making sure our decisions stand up the scrutiny of God’s requirement. Â Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
Because we change the way we think in no wise weakens our resolve. Â To the contrary, it exhibits our strength. Â Dr. King again declared, “A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
We resolve to march toward our expectation in partnership with God with humble hearts and straight backs.