Many of those who are non-religious are fatalist’s. Fatalism is the view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do. Included in this is that man has no power to influence the future, or indeed, his own actions. For the fatalist, life just happens, and there’s not a whole lot that can be done about it. It’s preprogramed in your DNA.
Christianity, on the other hand believes quite the opposite. In fact, Christianity is all about change. If you’re not interested in changing, or don’t believe that you can, then Christianity is not for you. Christians recognize that we are not what we were created to be because we have been ruined by sin, and we live in a broken world full of sinners.
To be fair, most of the other religions of the world also believe in change and the need to change. What separates Christianity from all of them, however, is where the power to change comes from.
Buddhism, for example, teaches people how to realize enlightenment for themselves. But, that enlightenment comes internally, through one’s own direct experience, not through beliefs or supernatural power.
So here’s the real differentiator with Christianity. Christianity not only says that we all must change; Christianity means change is possible. Deep, fundamental change. Major change. Big change. And, I’m talking about change that’s possible, and inevitable for the Christian, in spite of your DNA, or your parents, or your damaged past.
Is it possible to become a sensitive, tenderhearted, loving person even though you are callous, rude and insensitive, and were raised that way by example? Yes, it is! In fact, God is so confident that it is absolutely possible through Christ, that he orders us to simply believe and change accordingly.
The Bible assumes that God is the decisive factor in making us what we should be. With wonderful bluntness, the Bible says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” It doesn’t say, “If you can…” Or: “If you weren’t terribly wronged…”.
That’s great news, especially as we enter another New Year. That ought to embolden you and set you free. Free from the fatalism that says change is impossible for me. Free from the idea that your background is your destiny.
One of the most empowering benefits of being in Christ, is knowing that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. So, don’t be afraid of change, embrace it, pray for it, and watch God miraculously pull it off.
“Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24