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Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 36 - August/September 2010 > Change Management (by Erica Green)

Change Management

by Erica Green

Change Management - The restoration of God's image in us

I have never come across anyone for whom grocery shopping is an enjoyment.  It is really just a chore to get through as efficiently as possible.  For this reason, even when I go to other shopping centres, I will usually save the groceries for our regular local supermarket.  I know exactly where to find the things that I need in that shop and can get in and out with a minimum of delay. 

You will then understand my aggravation, when I tore into my local Woolworths on a Friday afternoon for the weekly grocery expedition, only to find that since last week, the entire store had been completely relayed.  There goes my quick in and out plan.  I watched as confused shoppers wandered aimlessly around looking up frantically at the signs at the end of each aisle.  I too dutifully joined the bewildered. 

Management were obviously conscious of the disruption that this change would cause to their customers and had laid on courtesy staff, all smiles and information sashes, to assist the bewildered.  I had already spent considerably more time than I had intended and had still not even got to the checkout phase of my journey.  I was therefore not in a particularly congenial mood, when a cheery 'besashed' individual asked if they could be of assistance in locating anything in particular.  I decided that they should have a little taste of their own medicine and sent them off looking for an item that I knew they did not stock (you try and find gluten flour in Woolworths).  They tried to appear all confidence, but I could tell that that they did not even know what the product was.  To my guilty amusement, I ended up with four staff wandering around the shop offering suggestions for the location of this nonexistent product.  I left them to it and continued shopping, with their promise, that they would come and find me when they had located the item.  By the time I was ready for the checkout, they had twigged to the fact that this product was not part of their standard ranged items. 

As I approached the check out, I noticed another major change; self serve checkouts.  So, we have been trained to bring our own bags and now they want us to pack them ourselves as well.  By now I was on a roll so thought, "why not?"  I had nothing more to lose and I did not want to categorise myself as some old person who is set in their ways or a technophobe, so into battle I went.  Things went well for the first few items, until the machine started to call me a thief in front of other waiting and equally as frustrated shoppers.   "I have detected that an item has been removed from your bag."  I started to talk back to the machine in protest, "I don't think so", until another smiling assistant came to my rescue and unlocked the screen.  This would be the first of many more, similar and equally as annoying accusations by this machine.  By now my frozen goods were well on the way to defrosting.  I tell you, it gives you a new appreciation for the packing skills of a good checkout operator.

With lots of help I finally got through the check out and on exiting the store was asked, by another nauseatingly cheery staff member, how I had found my shopping experience today.  My reply: "thoroughly unsatisfying."   Then thinking this statement to be a little uncharitable, and feeling ever so slightly guilty about the wild goose chase that I had sent the courtesy staff on, I smiled and added, "but I am sure that we will soon get used to it."  The end of the sentence, "just give me a week or so to be happy about it", I simply thought to myself.  True enough, after a few more shopping excursions, it once again became 'my' local grocery store.

This experience got me to thinking of how quickly change becomes the new norm and I wondered, as a Christian, what am I doing to make good changes in my life.  Woolworths put on a whole team of change agents to help their customers navigate their way through the process.  Are my attitudes and actions conducive to beneficial change? What am I doing in my life to encourage constructive change and to inhibit inertia and the impact of insidious destructive change in my life? 

An Unchanging God

If you are looking for a constant in your life then look no further than God.  There is no reason for God to change, because he is already perfect

The Process of Change/Restoring God's Image in us

We on the other hand can generally do with a 'few' alterations, given the impact of sin on the image of God in us.  It is a bit like a smudged or cracked mirror that distorts the original clarity of its objective.

Restoration of the image of God in us, is not a result of any action or behaviour of our own devising.  It is not the consequence of our own efforts.  Paul is not saying, in this text, that we must put all of our effort into imitating God in our behaviour.  This work is not ours to do.  Our job, as the text says, is simply to "behold" Him; it is then the work of the Holy Spirit to execute change.  Do you really want to get into a demarcation dispute with one third of The Godhead?  Trust me; the Holy Spirit will do a much better job than you can.

So where do we start in our search for "God's Glory"?  God's glory has been revealed to us in Christ's life on this earth and for those of us who were not around 2000 years ago, we have a record of Jesus life in the scriptures.

What then does it mean to "behold" God's Glory?  The word "beholding" conjures up concepts such as gazing or lingering.  Our reflection of Christ is not complete after only a fleeting glance.   Paul uses the present tense, "being transformed", rather than the past tense.  It is a bit like early photography, where you needed to expose the film for some length of time in order to adequately capture the image. 

Is it any wonder then that Ellen White wrote, "It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ.  We should take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones" (The Desire of Ages, 1898, p83).

We are all affected by our surroundings and whatever we immerse ourselves in will change us, for good or bad, whether we like it or not.  What is it that we spend most of our time and efforts on?    What is it that we have become familiar and comfortable with, like frogs in a slowly boiling pot of water?  What are we doing each day to immerse ourselves in the glory of God?

The Ultimate Change/Gods Image Restored

In our lifetime we will never be fully restored to reflect the image of God.  The darkened glass of sin, distorts everything.  Yes, we can have a taste of His design for us, here and now, but it is not until the second coming when serious change will take place. 

The Ultimate Change Agent

Surely God is the ultimate change agent.  He is the model, the motivational force, the instrument of the change process here and now, and finally the perfector of that change at His second coming.  

Why not appoint Him as your change agent?

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