Open to Change

Christian BevereBy Christian BevereJuly 26, 202310 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Break Up with What Broke You: How God Redeems and Rewrites Your Story by Christian Bevere

The word change often gets a bad rap because it can imply that if someone is trying to change you, it’s because you are unlikable, flawed, or unsuitable. But what if change is less about disapproving of yourself and more about developing yourself? You change a flat tire because the former is no longer suited for the drive. You change your hair because you think your old style no longer suits you.

Think about change in the sense of seasons. Bright summers change to brisk falls; blistering winters change to blooming springs. The cycle of change between each season is never-ending, yet each season brings its own glory. While in each, we embrace it fully with all it brings. But I wonder if we would do the same if the cycle suddenly stopped. If we had only summer, would we wish the heat away? If we had only winter, would we tire of the snow?

The consistent ebb and flow of change is what helps us appreciate the season we are in. I want to apply that same idea to the seasons of life. Every season we go through brings its own glory. But when we abandon the cycle of change, especially when God is calling us to a new season, we devalue what He has set before us. We must open our minds, realizing that change is not the enemy—complacency is. We will never grow in any area unless we fully open ourselves up to the idea that change is essential and necessary.

William James, a philosopher and the first educator to lead a psychology class in America, claimed, “The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. As you think, so shall you be.”¹ What you believe of yourself you will emanate. We see this thought amplified in Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (KJV).

I basically just “poetry punched” you with the idea that growth is 1) necessary and 2) possible. It’s necessary because as we break up with what’s broken us, we have to replace those old thoughts, patterns, and perceptions. It’s possible because we have both God’s grace and allowance for repentance and redemption and His fruits to replace them with. Granted, I understand this soul cleansing seems more difficult than other forms of change, like a juice detox for example. Changing what’s in your fridge is less difficult than changing what’s in your heart and head. Nonetheless, change is necessary. You know who else heard that line? Andy Sachs.

This relatable character from The Devil Wears Prada reminds us of just how awkward a transformation can be at first. Stumbling her way into the fashion industry, she learns through Nigel, her fashion guru of sorts, that her look needs its own alteration. If you’ve seen the film, you know how magical this scene is.

Can you imagine?! If Stanley Tucci opened those double doors to a closet filled with diamond-laced dresses and Jimmy Choo shoes for me, I would retire my credit card altogether. What need is there to shop when your work closet is better than your personal closet could ever be?

But Andy didn’t become a fashionista until she stepped into those Chanel boots. She didn’t master a model’s walk until she wore more designer brands than most models can afford. By putting on the clothes, she also put on a new air, a new confidence, a new mold. She knew nothing about styling before she took the job and had no qualifications to be at one of the leading fashion magazines, but by being immersed in the atmosphere and putting on the clothes, she came to not only understand fashion but also to be fashionable.

Sometimes we need the outfit change to see our true potential, or in our case, our true identity. We need to be immersed in the right atmosphere. We need to put on the accessories and attributes of who we’re becoming.

Too often when it comes to our future growth and our relationship with God, we think we must have it all together and fully understand Him before we’re allowed to take a step forward. We might say, “Gotta get my life together before God will accept me for the job He has in store.” “Have to look the part before I can take the part.”

God’s storehouse is far larger and grander than that double-door closet. Similarly, though, it’s full of divine items that change and elevate us when we put them on. His storehouse is stocked with the fruits of the Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23). Just as easy as we can run to the grocery store for real fruit, we can run to God for the fruits of the Spirit. We’re able to “put on” these fruits, and as we do, we no longer see our old selves in the mirror. Instead, we see who we’re becoming.

What habits do you need to leave at the door?

What atmospheres and communities are fueling these habits?

Ask yourself those questions as you embark on this growth journey. It will help you continue moving forward uninhibited and unstoppable. Change doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. The mold we want to make of our future selves is developed through the bending and breaking of certain parts of our lives. We must allow God, the Great Sculptor, to knead and fix as needed to bring about His completed work.

Michelangelo worked on the statue of David for roughly three years, continuously shaping the details. Interestingly, the most significant change was in the beginning. Michelangelo sculpted the masterpiece from a slab of marble that had sat untouched for twenty-five years.² Many artists had given up on the material being a beneficial piece of art and deemed it unusable for a sculpture. But Michelangelo carved and changed the once-useless stationary block, transforming it into the famous Italian piece thousands travel from all over the world to see today. In this case, the biggest disservice to the original marble block was not changing it at all. It sat void for a quarter century because no one saw the potential hidden within. Through its evolution, its significance and purpose were unveiled.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18 ESV)

The idea of being unveiled represents an underlying splendor so magnificent, it’s unlike anything the world has ever seen. Moses veiled his face after being in the presence of the Lord because it was too radiant for the other Israelites (Ex. 34:29–35). Paul wrote this verse in 2 Corinthians to show that when we look to Christ as our example, we, too, have faces like Moses’s—brushed by God’s glory and marked by something more. From glory to glory, we shine.

Do not be afraid of change. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but there is beauty behind the process of breaking the former mold. With open hands and open minds, let’s further journey into the conversation of change and growth.

We cannot accept more until we free ourselves of our less.

Used by permission. Christian Bevere, Break Up with What Broke You: How God Redeems and Rewrites Your Story. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2023.