..."Why my goodness, you're almost completely unchanged!" It sounds like a response I'd like to receive at a college reunion. Where everyone oohed and aahed over how I still looked as fresh-faced young as the day I graduated--no extra pounds, wrinkles or gray hairs. Unchanged sounds good.
A friend of mine has a daughter with brain damage that in many ways leaves her unchanged from year to year. While she's reached definite milestones of improvement, for the most part, this sweet, precious girl is still a baby. There are key developmental things that she may never accomplish. Unchanged sounds good, but it definitely has its consequences.
Recently I had the opportunity to have a mini-reunion with some ladies that I used to spend a great deal of time with in Bible studies, social get-togethers, and playdates. The numbers of children had changed resulting in the change of extra poundage and probably also contributed to some of us looking changed in age. Changes in hairstyle and haircolor were also common amongst most of us.
But what grieved me the most in listening to their conversations was all that was unchanged in their lives. In regards to spiritual growth and maturity, speech and understanding about God, most of the ladies were unchanged. The same things appealed to them, frustrated and worried them, even angered and frightened them. From the fruit of their own words, there was no greater faith in God's provision, no more acceptance of His sovereign will, no greater desire to live like Christ, and not even a deeper recognition of His grace in their lives. Unchanged spiritually is not good at all.
God's Word tells us not to continue to be infants in the knowledge of God. Christians are commanded, exhorted, and admonished to press forward, to mature, to grow in understanding and wisdom, even to abound in love and depth of insight.
Brethren, be not children in understanding, but as concerning maliciousness be children, but in understanding be of a ripe age. 1 Cor 14:20
That we henceforth be no more children, wavering and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the deceit of men, and with craftiness, whereby they lay in wait to deceive. But let us follow the truth in love, and in all things, grow up into him, which is the head, that is, Christ. Eph 4:14-15
For everyone that useth milk, is inexpert in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of age, which through long custom have their wits exercised, to discern both good and evil. Heb 5:13-14
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: to him be glory both now and for evermore. Amen. 2 Pet 3:18
I desire to follow hard after Christ knowing that change brings growing pains and sometimes hardship, even lack of understanding from those who are content to remain unchanged. But when I walk through the doors of heaven, I don't want my Father to say, "Why you haven't changed a bit!" I want Him to say, "The changes I have wrought in your life have made you look like My Son!"
Praise be to God for that grace and sovereignty!