Change is the process of moving from one thing to another, or from one state to another,
So you may change from being 12 to being 13 - becoming a teenager. Or if you go to University, you will probably change where you live. If a football club is promoted, they change what division they're in. One of the most amazing changes in nature is when a caterpillar changes to become a butterfly.
Life is full of change. Sometimes it's good for us but sometimes it's hard. But today we're going to look at change in a positive way - moving from something that isn't good to something that is better.
YouTube Video of Caterpillar to Butterfly - https://youtu.be/ocWgSgMGxOc
True Stories of Real Change
In 2017, Christians Against Poverty helped 21,500 people with their services to help people get out of debt and to find jobs. They're the largest debt counsellors in the UK. Debt causes family breakdown, stress, lack of sleep, breaks friendships, sees people lost their homes and sometimes even their lives.
So helping people move from being in debt to not being in debt is a positive change and makes a massive difference to the people involved, friends, family and society.
One couple were around £1000 in debt but the pressure got too much and they attempted suicide. Fortunately they didn't succeed. They got some support and were put in touch with CAP. As a result, they got out of debt and even got an unexpected tax rebate which meant the lady had the exact amount of money needed to replace a missing tooth. The woman was also healed of a problem with her foot. They both became Christians and their lives were completely changed. They now do an amazing work with vulnerable people, feeding the hungry, helping others in debt and make the best cakes ever.
The Message Trust, based in Manchester runs all kinds of projects - working with over 100,000 young people in schools and on buses, moving Christians into 52 deprived and tough neighbourhoods to see communities changed, trains up people in music and performance and works in prisons to see prisoner's lives turned away from despair and crime. They also run a business to support people released from prison into work. The re-offending rate of prisoners in the UK is over 24.5% (often much higher). For those prisoners the Message Trust team (Reflex) works with, the re-offending rate is significantly lower, saving the taxpayer millions of pounds every year.
So a positive change happens when a person is stuck in a criminal lifestyle and comes out of that, sometimes even going back into prison to help other prisoners turn their lives around.
The Trussell Trust run Food Banks in the UK. In 2017/2018, they gave 1,332,952 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, an increase of 6% from the previous year. 484,026 of these emergency food supplies went to children. Their aim is to end hunger in the UK, with a Christian ethos and following the words of Jesus to feed, clothe and visit the poor, needy, lonely and the prisoner.
So when people are supported from being hungry to being fed, this is another positive change. Not only that but people are helped with fuel and finances, helping people's lives to change for the better.
Your Positive Change
Change can be positive but if we make the wrong choices in life, we can often find that change is negative and destructive. We can hang out with the wrong people and quickly find our studies are impacted, we may get into things that aren't healthy or good for us and even our relationship with old friends and family or those who look after you can suffer. Or we can try to escape pain by doing and saying things that lash out at other people as we try to deal with pain.
But there is always hope of positive change.
In the video of the Caterpillar to the Butterfly, there is a massive change that happens. Not all change in life is so dramatic but often things take time and even a bit of pain. I know someone who is an athlete. Her training has been hard and intense, working on certain muscles and eating and working out many times, often at the cost of other things in life. Positive change isn't always easy but it's always worth it.
A journalist called Lauren Windle finished university and lost her boyfriend. It made her feel self-conscious and alone. She started drinking and was soon taking cocaine, destroying her health and life. She tried to recover and one day found herself at a church in Paris. She asked for prayer and help and was shown real love and support. Out of this, she found her life completely turned around and now helps run a course for recovering addicts at a church in London and has a new journalism career. (Good News newspaper, August 2018, page 2).
So, what kind of positive change do you need today? As a Christian, I believe God wants and is well able to help you out of any dark place or pain that you're facing. He also wants the best for each of us. But he won't do everything for us. So, what kind of good change do you want or need?
As a Christian, I believe you can ask God. But if that's not something you want to do, then get the support of good people around you. Make good choices and the right decisions.
Live and make choices now that you will be happy with in your future.