I Was Just Thinking About – TRANSITIONS.
The next couple of days there will be a repeated greeting we will all hear – “Happy New Year.” While that is a good thought and expression, 2019 will continue in step with where we were in 2018. The Calendar transition is not what will make any difference in one’s life – no matter how well-intentioned it is meant. The one transition that will matter most is within a person – Will one be more humble and accepting of others? Will one be more caring and ready to respond to another’s need(s)? Will one be more kind and gracious toward others? Will all people know you are a follower of Jesus Christ by your love for one another (John 13:34-35)? Jesus said: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”
Oh! That commandment! How do you respond and apply His Word? Do you think (or say): “Apparently Jesus doesn’t know the type of family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances with whom I have to deal. If He did, He might’ve modified His command.” Is that what you really think? Is that how you feel? Is that how you interpret and apply God’s Word? If your answer is “No”, then why don’t your words and actions demonstrate your application of the words of Jesus Christ? Do you think that maybe – just maybe – you need an attitude adjustment and behavioral change? If you are inclined to say “Yes” – then begin by applying Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring glory to God.”
This will not only be a transition but a transformation. And, Yes! People will notice and be positively impacted by such a transition and transformation. What is sad is that some people have become so set in their ways and self-satisfied with their adapted lifestyle that they are incapable of making such a transition. There is also the reluctance to sense their need for anything transformational to take place in their life.
This is so clearly relieved in Matthew 25:31-46 when Jesus speaks of separating sheep and goats. The measurement Jesus applies is in terms of how a person has responded to those with needs. The sheep’s lifestyle is one of caring, sharing and protecting – a lesson they subconsciously learned from their shepherd. The goats were those who were both insensitive an impervious (impenetrable and resistant). They were indifferent to anyone else except themselves. They did their own thing and were unresponsive to the needs of others. They feign ignorance when the separation occurs and still don’t realize that which they should’ve responded and how they should’ve felt toward others. The bottom-line issue is in terms of human compassion. The sheep had compassion whereas the goats did not.
Transitions are happening in the lives of people all around you. How sensitive are you toward such ones – sorrowing, physical needs, death of a loved one who friend, one’s relocation, the end of a career, one wanting to continue to serve but no outlet in which to do it, etc.? Can you make and be a difference in 2019? Will you try to do so?
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.