Everything changes in time. Even rivers and mountains can change their course and appearance over millennia. In 2019 constant change is part of life. Everything seems to be in draft. ‘Adopt’ and ‘adapt’ follow in quick succession! Technologies, philosophies, policies and procedures change constantly. Even constitutions, which a generation ago were considered ‘set in concrete’ now constantly need to conform to changing circumstances. We’re getting used to it.
The more difficult areas to ‘unlearn’ are those that touch on what we’ve always considered right or wrong. Values and standards were instilled in us from an early age and this formative teaching and learning is powerful. It is deeply entrenched and forms a part of us. What happens when social values and interpretations change? How can we ‘unbake’ the cake? How can we unravel what we’ve always considered settled?
I’m astounded and impressed to read in Acts (10:9-16) how open to adaption Saint Peter was. Although a staunch, law-abiding Jew, God confronts him with a challenge through a vision – to eat something that by law is ritually ‘unclean’. It only takes 3 goes to convince him there’s a new freedom in being a Christian and that nothing is set in concrete anymore. Peter goes on to embrace and encourage freedom for others.
That’s not to say we have to accept and take on board every new idea, or bend our moral and ethical positions, but rather to have open minds to consider new concepts and thoughtfully assess what’s driving them.
While the pace of change can be unsettling, we have one anchor holding everything together. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) What a relief to know that stability when things are in turmoil about us. God may appear to change, as over time our understanding of God adapts and grows, but the core of His love, grace and personal relationship with each of us is a foundation rock that we can rely on no matter which direction the world turns.
Growing Deep: “[We] demonstrate an openness to hearing new information, feedback from others or alternative points of view … our reasoning can be improved with further understanding and involves not irrationally holding on to a particular perspective or opinion.”