Is real change really possible?

1 Peter 5: 5b – 7 (Berean Study Bible) says: “And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

This anxiety we have about “appearing” together, whole and better than we are, we can throw this on our loving Saviour, because “He cares for {us}!” Thus, humility gives us access to release us from caring so much what others think. We can be who we are, knowing in His immutable faithfulness, He wants to refine us, remake us, and restore us to the image of His Son.
The fairy-tale is: it takes place with no difficulty at all. There is no magic wand to wave.
Real change takes time (a lifetime, I think), persistence and a strong desire to grow; to grow in grace.
My longing for wisdom, to be and to become a better person, can be met in humility, for, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2.
And isn’t that a corker? Wisdom is impossible when I am proud, only by humility can I find knowledge. So, facing my failings and weaknesses, maybe it is a step in the right direction?
The ancient text tells us this in, James 4: 6 – 10 (NIV): – But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you.

It’s shocking the way it hits me, this text! He gives grace to those who see, recognize and grieve their sinfulness. We often dislike the word sin, yet, sin exists. My attempts to whitewash my failings brings no lasting change or true transformation.
Facing how I fall short is painful. Daring to look at that can seem overwhelming. Like having your clothes blown off in the wind. It exposes you, leaving you bare, vulnerable and shivering in the bitter cold.

In the upside-down kingdom, the way up is down. Humility is strong medicine. Like Buckley’s cough syrup, if we drink this fierce truth-telling, it will work. Over time, it will affect a cure.
 And if I will face my faults, ask for forgiveness, and move forward, even though sometimes I quake and falter, what then? For, “my sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17.  And this is our Heavenly Father’s tender reply, But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit… Isaiah 66:2b 
He knows us; He knows our deep wounding; He knows our pain, our hurts, our heartbreak. His heart breaks with the things that have broken ours. 

We were bleeding and broken, and we, in turn, then have injured others.
You cannot have a meaningful relationship with someone who will not look at you, and, our Heavenly Father, hears our cries, looks at us, sees us, and knows us, through and through. And He does not shun or despise us, He clothes us in robes of His righteousness and gathers us close to His heart.

Our Heavenly Father pours out His love, mercy and faithfulness upon us. He does not pile condemnation on our already fainting hearts. He, the divine gardener – prunes us; not to hurt us but to make us more lovely, more fruitful. We become more fully who He created us to be, in all our complexity, and all our beauty.
Real change it possible. It is a lifelong process and, we can trust the Holy Spirit to do the work He wants to do in our lives; to purify and change us. So, we become as whole, authentic, and free as possible on this side of heaven.

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6 ESV



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