BLOG––Encouraged by Faith

I Changed My Mind

Posted by April Bumgardner on

How many times have you changed your mind about something? I don’t mean whether or not you would order dessert, but really altered your position on a weighty matter? If you have a particularly stubborn nature like I do, probably not often. Has your mind been changed suddenly, or was change brought about slowly, imperceptibly? In keeping a journal or running prayer list, I have observed how my thinking has changed and grown in ways I would never have noticed otherwise. Sometimes this can be embarrassing. Sometimes I would have preferred to have forgotten that I used to think like THAT. But why do I feel this way? Do I truly believe I am a finished product, no longer maturing or evolving? Do I really think that in ten years I will be the same as I am today? Only God is constant (Hebrews 13:8).  My growth is evidence of the Holy Spirit working on me, in me, and through me. I only pray all the change is moving me closer to him. I pray he is transforming my mind to be more like his (Romans 12:2).

As humans, we have the capacity for constant learning. I see many articles today, especially in the fields of neuroscience and sociology discussing neuroplasticity and the virtues of a growth mindset. It is true that the more we learn and the more we are willing to put forth the effort for learning, the more our brains will expand. This is not exactly what the apostle Paul is talking about, however.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, or inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Here, Paul speaks to the church in Corinth encouraging them to keep their eyes focused on God because only he is able to see the rest of the story. We are limited and transient; he is all-seeing and eternal. If I can accept the fact that I may not have all the facts in, I may be able to trust that God might know better. If I see my transformation as ongoing and never-ending, I may be able to admit that I will never be a mature individual, fully formed. In turn, I will humbly admit that others are still in the middle of their story as well. Will that help me to be less judgmental and more patient? 

I recognize God is sovereign and I am not. God sees eternally and I see only the past and present.  My eyes cannot see even these clearly or accurately.

This is where we trust in who God is and believe he guides us rightly. It matters that God is not only eternal but good and loving and faithful. If these are all true of God–and they are!–then we have nothing to fear. We may not like everything in our present situation, we may not understand the whys or the what nexts, but if we know God to be leading us with the rest of his story, we can rest in him. There is so much grace in this! 

Regardless of how long we live, we will be growing and changing, maturing and (hopefully) improving until we die. Even then, I wonder if heaven will welcome us into a place where we will be transforming endlessly into the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.

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