I have a bee in my bonnet, a bur under my saddle, or a pebble in my shoe. Beloved, I have something that will not become stuck in my craw…it must be said…and it must be said in a way that both edifies the hearer (Eph 4:29) and exalts the Savior (1 Cor 10:31). Okay…enough hem-hawing around (I have had to look up every one of these idioms) let’s get to the point.
…well in a way we have already made the point. Words matter. Ideas have consequences (cf. R.C. Sproul for book by same title). We need to use words that “fit the occasion” (Eph 4:29). One such phrase that needs further thought is this: “This will change your life.” You can fill in the blank of what “this” is…but the phrase is surely overused.
For example, I remember hearing a DOW Chemicals’ commercial that touted, “Chemistry, the hope of human history.” Surely we Christians do not find our hope in chemicals…our HOPE is a person, namely Christ. Sadly, many people do think chemicals (some legal and some not) will change their lives. Another example: a financial coach promises that if you “change your money, you will change your life.” Surely, he is promising more than he can deliver.
In both the above examples (and the many more that could be added) what is promised, at best, is a change of circumstance. To be sure, better health and better wealth will change your circumstance…and may indeed make life easier (though see the lives ruined by winning the lottery; cf. “Wealth gained quickly will dwindle away, but the one who gathers it little by little will become rich”; Proverbs 13:11, NET), but neither really changes your life.
In both previous cases the life lived is still a slave of circumstance. If the circumstance is good the life is happy; if bad, the life is sad.
What if you could really change your life? What if you could change your life in such a way that you were not dependent upon circumstance? What if you could change in such a way that you were always joyful?…now that would be real change!
Beloved, the only change that lasts is the one in the soul. If your soul desired to please God and see Him glorified then you would live a life above circumstance…and that change would last for eternity. Now that is change indeed.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Happy is the man who perceives the hand of God in everything.” He is right–do you see God in everything? Jesus lived a life that was and is the goal of all our change efforts. His example is Grand Canyons beyond mere financial peace–He, for the joy set before Him (read that again…for the joy)…endured the cross (Heb 12:2). Jesus was joyful even when crucified. Now that is a life lived above circumstance.
Beloved, we do think biblical counseling will change your life. We seek not to change your circumstance–that is in the Providence of God. We seek to change your desires in the circumstance–now that change truly is the Hope of human history.
10,000 Blessings in the Wonderful Counselor,
Photo: Old book bindings at the Merton College library by Tom Murphy VII CC-BY-SA 3.0