Change is hard. When I was working as a mental health therapist, I learned a theory about change that said your perception of the pain involved in the change had to be lower than your actual pain in a current situation. In other words, you must believe changing is less painful than staying where you are. This contradicts the adage, “Better the devil, you know.” We may not like our circumstances or situation. Yet, we know what to expect & so we stay there even if it is harmful, problematic, less efficient, or has any negative implications. Ultimately, we know change is hard & our human nature tends to have us avoid it as much as possible.

“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

Conformation is the easy way of being. It is the way that is passive, allowing the things of the world to influence & change us. We get to remain where we are, doing what we’re doing, changing nothing, & allowing for changes to happen by what is done to us by the world. Conformity does not require us to do or be in any specific way; instead, conformity occurs when we allow outside forces to impose their will upon us. Conformity happens when we give in to the devil we know, allowing ourselves to be tossed about by the winds of life. 

I’m reminded of the letter to Ephesus when the people are reminded that infancy in the faith is like being tossed about by the winds of any doctrine or trickery (Ephesians 4:14). If we allow conformity to take root in our lives, we allow for the winds of the world to toss us about with no solid foundation. However, when we are grounded in truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), we grow up into Christ & in that we are transformed by the Holy Spirit’s renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

This all comes back to change & how we stick with the devil we know rather than seeking the transformation that comes from the renewing of our minds in Christ. Being grounded in our faith (truth in love) is the buffer against the world’s winds tossing us about. It is also the buffer against the perceived pain of change. Another adage tells us, “The only guarantees in life are death & taxes.” This means that everything else is in flux, unguaranteed, & therefore change is inevitable. I wonder, what would happen if we embraced change as essential to living lives grounded in truth & love? I wonder if we could let go of the false grip of control over everything & every outcome, realizing that no matter the size of what happens by worldly standards, our willingness to embrace the transforming of our lives is pleasing in God’s sight. If we live like this, I think the anticipated pain of any change will be negligible to the pain we experience when we push against the transforming power of God’s will in our lives. 

In Christ’s Love,