By Johnnie Godwin
Contributing Columnist, B&R
You will never amount to more than you do right now unless a “tipping point” revolutionizes your life! In other words, your New Year’s resolutions and other resolutions are as futile as trying to keep all the Law to get saved. You’ll never get saved by trying to keep endless laws because salvation comes only “by grace through faith” when a person “repents” (Ephesians 2:8-10; Mark 1:15; John 3:1-18). That’s why one cliché stands out with truth: namely, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” As human beings, “inertia” is our spiritual nature: We tend to stay the same or change!
What I’m really writing about is repentance with the most literal meanings from its Greek word: which is “change of mind.” Until there is a change of mind so radical that it is like getting born again, we will likely keep on with old habits and old ways and the direction of all mankind cycle on till death. But besides the eternal tipping point of trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and getting saved by grace through faith, other tipping points can and have to occur if we change and move toward our potential.
The tipping point: Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book titled The Tipping Point. It is fascinating! I commend it to you. In trying to explain what Malcolm wrote about, I would simply say that life is going to be the “same ole, same ole” unless a tipping point occurs. Heavier thinkers than I am might refer to reaching a “critical mass.” In any pursuit of life or radical change in skill, knowledge, or actions, an explosive point comes that changes something forever. Well, that’s a bit simplistic; but I tend to be rather simplistic anyway.
However, Jesus was not simplistic. He was just realistic and the promised Messiah who divided all time within eternity by becoming the whole Christ Event at a point in time. Mark 1:15 tells us that Jesus came preaching the good news and repentance about the Kingdom of God. John 3 explained to a learned theologian that he couldn’t get eternal life without being born again. Words fail us when we try to tell people what it takes to get born again and do it only in the person Jesus whose grace saves us. Someone wrote, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” Another wrote, “I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.”
Why I write this column: I’ve been writing this B&R column for 13 years. Why? It’s not because I need to see my name in print. I’ve been a professional writer for more than 50 years. I’ve written more than a million published words since I got downsized 23 years ago. I don’t need my name known or a claim to fame. For about a generation, I’ve been in what most seem to feel is the ultimate goal of life: namely, indulgent retirement. However, all of life is a stewardship; and there is no retirement from the calling of God (Ephesians 4:1-3). So within my “retirement,” I’m probably in my third or fourth career. And one of those careers is the calling of writing as God leads me and as I am impelled to write.
Frankly, inertia still tends to rule in my life as it does in other lives, as it likely does in your life. Inertia is the law that says things at rest tend to stay at rest and those in motion tend to stay in motion. Well, I confess that before and ever since retirement my favorite spot is in my recliner in front of the fireplace in our den. Why, I’m so lazy that last year I bought a motorized recliner that requires no more than the push of a button to sit up, rear back, recline. But instead of being in my recliner, I’m sitting in front of my computer writing to you about what matters most in all the world to me and to you too. I’m writing about choosing to change your mind in such a strong way that you actually turn yourself over to God’s guidance through His Holy Spirit every single day. The Bible calls it repentance: literally, a change of mind, the kind of change of mind that seizes you, compels you to get up out of your symbolic recliner, and become an active Christian soldier for our Lord. Choose to leave indulgence, self will, and habits of ease that require no change in your life. That’s a tipping point! It will change your life and other’s too.
So what? I’m out of assigned space editor Lonnie Wilkey has allowed me, so I can’t fully answer the “so what?” question. But I conclude with the conviction of my life to give you this challenge to make right now: Repent/change right now by deciding to adopt G-O-A-L! That acronym, for me, means “a God-Oriented-Approach-to-Life.” Now listen to God and answer yes!
— Copyright 2016 by Johnnie C. Godwin: firstname.lastname@example.org