In my very first Christian “article”, I was going through the idea of consistency (click here) and our human desires to remain the same, or trying to remain the same. However, such a concept is merely an ideal because inevitably, we all change, through factors of our own, or other factors that we have no control over. For instance, realizing that you are falling behind in class and deciding to put more time into studies is a change you bring about yourself; whereas you have puberty which brings about changes that you have no influence over.
So here we again wonder: “Is change a good thing? Or is it better to remain the same?” We went through a bit of the pros and cons in the previous article. If they are good changes then we invite them, if they are bad changes then obviously we don’t want them. But to be able to tell whether a change is good or bad is something of utmost mystery and most likely varies from person to person. Take maturity for example; we no longer watch those kiddie shows on ABC from like more than 12 years back. Is that a good or bad change? On one hand you could say: “It’s good because I’m growing up and I want to grow up.” Or you could say: “No it’s bad because I want to stay young forever.” But regardless of whether you think it’s good or bad, you won’t want to go back right? Back to watching ABC? That is no longer the person that we are. We have all changed.
Now let’s look at something more ambiguous, and perhaps something more personal and applicable. As I’ve posted at the beginning of this year, the transition into university most definitely brings about change because somehow the rest of your life opens up in front of you. But for the time being we seem to be faced with two choices: take the hard path, get bogged down into studies and invest in a prosperous future; or take the easy path, have a social and fun life, getting into as many parties and socials as possible, oblivious to when we may have to put in the hard yards for the future. Or to sum it in two words (sort of): studies, or friends?
When we become faced with a dilemma and we can’t choose the “right” thing to do, what then? Isn’t this why change is bad in general? We’re afraid that by choosing one thing over another (changing from one thing to another), we might forego something even though we gain something. Of course what would be ideal is having a win-win situation: you gain something without giving up something else. But unfortunately the world isn’t like that. Funny how the famous quote from Full Metal Alchemist: “People cannot gain anything without sacrificing something of equal value in return” holds true. However, when we speak of “value”, we usually try to apply that in making changes. Which is more important, studies or friends? Perhaps in other contexts our values help shape our decisions but this isn’t always the case either. Some things become too hard to choose.
What can we do then? When we don’t know what to do? When things may seem right and wrong at the same time? Does anyone have the answer? Surely there is someone who does: God. What we as Christians are gifted with is the grace of God and His unquestionable intelligence.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
If we approach God in faith and with our concerns, He will be the one to give us the answer. Of course don’t ever try to “think” about what God’s answer might be (e.g. “Yeah God would probably want me to choose friends, etc”); if you did then why bother asking? It is through approaching God without a solution that He gives us one. The solution may not be a quick fix (as some would hope) but we can know for sure that we will not be doing the wrong thing if we act according to what God wants.
Therefore, there is no need to be afraid of change. There is no need to consider whether change is good or bad, because after all, we’ve seen that change is inevitable. And though we might be scared of what may happen after change, as long as we act out of faith and remember to pray to God, He will surely keep us from steering down the wrong track. Consistency is a virtue, but in a world of inevitable change, we need to learn to fight and respond to it; and that is something our Lord and Saviour can help us in.
But before I end this article, I would like to address something to anyone who is not a Christian and is reading this. Firstly, thank you for your patience and your willingness to read through all of this. And secondly my question to you is: “Is it good or bad to change into being a Christian?” I do know from past discussions with other friends that parents can be a strong influence in keeping their children from becoming Christian. And the children don’t want to upset the parents through a conversion; that is very understandable. All I can ask is: ‘”Why are you afraid to change?” And you could give me the answer from above; that something bad will happen after the change. But will there be something good as well? What will the “benefits” be of becoming a Christian?
As I’ve said before we can always bring our requests to God and leave our problems in His hands when there is nothing that we can do. And surely for any problem that we don’t have an answer for, God surely does. In fearing change, we forego the opportunities of “improving” our situation in life; and I believe that in our search for satisfaction in life, through changing, doesn’t stand a chance unless we have Jesus in our life. But that will have to be left for another time.
Do not be afraid to change. If it is something that’s important to us then go for it; go for it out of faith in God, that whatever problems might arise from the change will be minimised or even resolved. Change is never a bad thing if we make sure we keep the right mindset.