Behavior Modification vs. Transformation
“It was this issue that Jesus addressed over the course of his entire gospel ministry–the problem each generation has with seeking behavior modification instead of transformation. The brutal truth is this: without God winning the battle in our hearts, we cannot be changed or transformed. The Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees fought tenaciously with Jesus over the rules and politics of his time; they engaged in intellectual dogfights over their theological beliefs and opinions. They were proud and educated men who knew every phrase of the Scriptures by memory but resisted the message of the heart that Jesus kept preaching to them in one parable after another. In the end, they so resented what he was implying that they killed him.
The battle between the mind and the heart rages on. The mind wants to “understand” God, to grasp the nature of our salvation, to comprehend the significance of grace and of new life. It’s far too busy trying to understand the love of God to actually experience it. The mind wants to control the environment it’s in, to subdue all possible threats and or undesired outcomes before they occur, to avoid risk and anything uncomfortable, to be entertained and engaged and flattered and loved and pleasured. When we put the mind first, we seek to find significance in ourselves, to use God and faith as excuses for pursuing our own ambition and preferences. We discipline ourselves so we can enjoy the pride of personal accomplishment and the adoration of those who can’t do what we can. This is the mindset of our human nature, and as parents we will always drift this way if we are left to our own devices.
God speaks directly to our hearts. He is aware that if we seek to follow after him with just our heads, we will fail. We’ll end up reducing faith to a list of rules instead of a living, breathing relationship. We’ll know about God without really knowing him.”
As parents… we share similar struggles and frustrations, the core of the process remains the “Heart”. My prayer for you as parents is to see your kids fall in love with the same Jesus you did.
Peace out RTP, Love you… Pastor B.
Book Excerpt from Chapter 4… pp 76-77. (C) 2013 by Brad Mathias, all rights reserved – Published by Tyndale Momentum Publishers, Carol Stream IL.