How do you manage change>

The headline reads "We must be willing to change."

Who is the "we?" On any given week, it could be the education system, leaders of some sort, or people living in changing economic times. One of our cultural buzzwords right now is "adaptive change," or change that requires us to adapt to new circumstances.

Whether we are talking about a system, an institution, or an individual, many resist change. There’s an old joke. "How many (insert the name of your faith group here) does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: None. We don’t believe in change." Religious institutions are often paralyzed by change.

Individual Christians, and faithful adherents of many spiritual traditions, are told again and again that we should be changing. Ephesians 4:22 says, "Change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were." Throughout our lifetime, we should be becoming more compassionate and less greedy, more honest and less deceptive. This "becoming" is change.

Adaptive change rarely happens overnight, though occasionally it happens in bursts. In my own experience of becoming, sometimes the change is even imperceptible. Only when I take the long view can I see improvement.


Last year brought me a number of personal challenges and stressors. I saw how much of a difference my faith made. I saw this as I maintained hope, asked for help, and continued investing my time into the things that matter. The phrase of last year was "I don’t know how, but things will work out. God is faithful."

I was working on resilience, or the ability to bounce back after trauma or stress. Others may be becoming by cultivating "an attitude of gratitude" or seeing the holy in everyday life. They are intentionally working, over time, to become new people. As they do so they let go of previous habits and mindsets that were not helpful.

How do you manage change? Do you fear it, resist it, or ignore it? Or do you cultivate your ability to change so that you can become more and more of who you are called to become?

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