None of us have it all together. In fact, we bury that ugly truth behind smiles and polite gestures. But, the daily news tells story after story of human cruelty and self-seeking. And, if we believe the Bible, we understand that the human race is bent toward doing what’s wrong over doing what’s right. Our best intentions are marred by a black nature.
Self-improvement represents a $10 billion per year industry in the U.S., according to Lindsay Myers, MBA, MPH, a national healthcare consultant. She says, “Dreams of the perfect relationship, the perfect career, and the perfect weight continue to sell off the shelves.” We devour self-help books, thinking if I can control my anger or addiction or anxiety, then I can relate to others in normal and healthy ways. However, the problem runs too deep in us. Myers says that those people who buy self-improvement books will return to the self-help section of the bookstore within 18 months, looking for something new to help them. Reform brings surface change, but the truth lurks under the surface. We need transformation.
For transformation, we need a savior, someone to do away with our old, deformed or reformed, lives. In the process, we need someone to give us a completely new heart. Jesus came to transform us, not fix us. The prophet Isaiah said this about Jesus,
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,Isaiah 61:1-3
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
I realized my need for transformation years ago when I witnessed a mother duck leading her ducklings across two lanes of interstate traffic into the path of two semi-trucks. Listen to my retelling here.
No matter whether we are living a deformed or a reformed life, Jesus offers transformation. He waits for us, ready to respond. Just ask Him. I’d love to hear your stories about leaving the deformed and reformed to become transformed in Jesus.
I’ve written two short books to make moving toward Jesus easier, simpler. Find them here: Led and Surrendered.