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We don’t need upgrade; we need transformation


Fairy tales tells us that Cinderella rises from the cinders to become a queen. The Ugly Duckling becomes a beautiful Swan. Pinocchio becomes a real boy. The frog becomes a prince. The Cowardly Lion gets his courage and the Scarecrow gets his brains and the Tin Woodman gets a new heart. In hope beyond hope, they are all transformed into the very thing they never thought they could be.

The Holy Writ tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approved what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). Do we understand the message of this passage? Why are we enchanted by tales of transformation?

Truly, transformation is an essential part of any great story especially among true followers of Christ. Why? Because it is the secret to Christianity, and Christianity is the secret to the Universe. And in John 3:7 we hear Jesus’ commands – “You must be born again.” You must be transformed.

Keeping the law, following the rules, Polishing up your manners – none of that will do. “What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people” (Galatians 6:15). Is this not the message of the gospel?

The Bible reveals that Zacchaeus the cheater becomes Zacchaeus the Honest One. Mary the prostitute becomes Mary and Last of the Truly Faithful. Paul the self-righteous murderer becomes Paul the Humble Apostle. And we?

Something has gone wrong with the human race, and we know it. It’s something within the human race. Read a newspaper. Pay attention to the movements of your own heart. Most of the misery we suffer on this planet is the fruit of the human heart gone bad.

Scripture could not be clearer about this. Yes, God created us to reflect his glory, but sin entered the picture and spread like a computer virus. Our downward spiral had reached the point where God himself could not bear it any longer. His heart is broken because ours is fallen.

By the sixth chapter of Genesis, verses 5 and 6 we read: “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

Any other honest person knows this. We know we are not what we were meant to be. Most of the world religious concur on this point. Something needs to be done. But the usual remedies involve some sort of shaping up on our part, some sort of face-lift whereby we start behaving as we should. It never works. It never will. Of course, the reason all those treatment ultimately fail is that we quite misdiagnosed the disease.

The problem is not in our behavior, the problem is in us. And Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). We don’t need upgrade; We need transformation.


(Source: Knowing the Heart of God – By John Eldredge)

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