Quick fix

Jeremiah 23:30-40

I’ve been reflecting all week on something a friend and colleague of mine said.

We were talking about church ministry when he said, “We keep trying to fix something we think is broken. We don’t need to fix anything. We need transformation.”

Wow! That’s what several decades of prayer and reflection will teach you.

I can’t tell you how many emails I delete every day from people that want to teach me how to fix something. Apparently, what’s broken in the church is everything. And don’t get me wrong, God hasn’t finished the good work in us yet. What makes us think we’re done?

Still, it almost feels like we’re trying to duct tape the Titanic. To be sure, transformation does cost us. Jesus warned us to count the cost of discipleship. But we can’t buy transformation. We have to trust God for it. We have to wait on God for it. We have to pray to God for it. And we have to let it happen.

Otherwise, we’re only putting a transformational square peg in a dead ministry round hole. Truth be told, some of us are okay doing so.

And it’s certainly nothing new. The prophet Jeremiah spoke against other prophets of God for this reason. They told the people want they wanted to hear. Although they professed to be mouthpieces of God, they shared what benefited themselves. God’s transformation was not at the heart of what they told the people. Instead, you can almost hear the light religious platitudes. Something tells me they sounded much like the ones we hear today that tell us we don’t really need to change our hearts.

So, what’s the difference between fixing something we think is broken and God’s transformation? For one, a lot of fixing needs ministry professionals. Transformation, however, happens through and for everyone. Mere fixing seeks to uphold institutional values. Those may be good, but they don’t compare to the transformation that comes as we seek the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

And be careful that what needs to be fixed isn’t just something somebody wants to change. Some people talk a lot about change. It’s not that they like change. It’s just that they like their change.

Now, I’ve said all that so I can ask you to do this: Pray for God’s transformation. Keep asking for the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. Don’t settle for quick fixes that don’t mean all that much.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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