“What do you want to change?”

What word in that question stood out in your mind ? It could have been the word you, meaning an action on your part is needed. It’s up to you.

Or your brain could have latched on to the first word what. Now the emphasis shifts. It assumes change is happening, but asks about the object of that change. That means choice.

Then again, the mind could have zeroed in on the word want. It implies a more passive approach to the question. The power to change may not be in your control, so all you can do is wish. If you are like me, that irks you a bit.

Why do we often assume we need to be in control? It as if the right of passage into adulthood is paved with "It's up to me" stones. However, too many times we stub our toes on them. Still, we plod along, nursing the throb. "I can't assume anyone else will do it, so I must."

Jesus challenges us to revisit the emphasis of the sentence. To return to a holy dependency on our Father for instruction, guidance, comfort, and yes, for discipline. Just as obedient children depend on their parent.

I'm not saying we shouldn't take responsibility. Far from it. We are all inevitably responsible for our actions, thoughts, and choices. But perhaps the change we want should be our attitude and outlook, not our circumstances.

How about you? Read the sentence again. What do you want to change?

Heavenly Lord, forgive me when I want to yank the reins away assuming that, as a grown-up, it is all up to me. Continue to teach me that it’s okay to lean on your understanding and strength, and to be your child. Amen.

Go Deeper — Take an honest look at how you react to God’s instructions in your life? Do you need to make a change? Talk it over with Him and seek His guidance.

Tags: Trust & Obey Matthew 18
Photo Credit: Mikito Tateisi