You Can Change" by Tim Chester. Some friends of mine where going through the book much like a Bible study and asked me to join them. When I heard the title of the book I have to say I was instantly put off just a bit by it. I don't really like the whole idea of "self help" books anymore. I think working hard to change yourself on your own terms by your own power is just a recipe for frustration at best. I think the only thing that can truly effect change in our lives is the power of the God's Spirit.
Turns out, that's pretty much the whole idea of the book. Imagine that!
So, I was thinking I might try to write a bit about it as I go through the book. With everything else I have going on, it may or may not work out the way I'm planning, but I'm willing to try anyway. We'll be meeting every other week and only planning on going through one chapter at a time, so maybe writing (or reading) a post won't be too terribly time consuming.
So...basically Tim says we are to be a reflection of God's glory. I think we're a bit like the moon. Whereas the sun IS light and produces light, the moon doesn't It reflects the sun. When the full moon is "shining" bright in the clear night sky, you'd never know the moon wasn't making that illumination on its own. Another way to think about it is a mirror. When a light is shined in the direction of a mirror, that light is bounced off and redirected somewhere else.
So, the "work" is not in us attempting to "shine", but merely to be a reflect-able surface.
You may be thinking that would involve cleaning up your exterior....but that's what's really even better about it...God's glory seems to shine all the more brightly on broken surfaces!! All we really have to do is get out of the way! When we are intent on following "law" and working to do things the right way we are actually not turned toward God at arll. However, when we keep our attention on HIM and bask in His truth we become a medium he can use.
As the new year gets started, everyone begins to think about things they want to change about themselves. The most common items on the to do list are losing weight, getting fit, eating right. Maybe you are resolved to spend more time with family or give more time/money to charity. Whatever it is, if you focus on doing the right things rather than being the kind of person who does those kinds of things, chances are high you'll end up frustrated. However, if you direct your attention to being the right kind of person and allow your actions to flow out of who you are, you'll have a better chance of success.
So...what is it you are looking to change this year? I hope you'll join me on this journey.