Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Heart for Change? Eliot Spitzer? Obama and the USA?

"Change" seems to be the word of the day (and days) these days. One presidential hopeful is making that his campaign focus. But the problem with a politician talking about "change" but not detailing what change looks like is that "change" is only a word. "Change" MUST be accompanied with action and specifically appropriate actions related to the specific change involved.

Barak Obama is all about change if you listen to his words, but he doesn't explain HOW that change is going to happen. He doesn't detail a plan for change.

Newly former NY governor Eliot Spitzer is facing change in life, but if his public words from yesterday are any indicator, he's a long way from knowing how to put his tattered life back together - even if he really wants to do so. Talking about "failings" and "not living up to what was expected" are paltry words in his circumstances.

Another man I once knew was young, had a beautiful wife and pretty special children. Looking from the outside in, they seemed like the ideal family. But there was HUGE need for heart change! Everything was going from bad to worse due to increasingly bad choices.

Was there hope? Was there help? You bet! But hope and help alone are not enough EVER! Beside the "God factor," the other essential is having a heart for change! That's HUGE!

Barak Obama talks about change but I don't hear a plan. I hear clever words on the hopeful path to the White House.

Eliot Spitzer talks "change" when it really sounds like "How am I going to minimize the pressure here?" It's all about self-protection to minimize personal loss and maximize damage control.

The young husband gone way down a bad path didn't get the missing piece either. He wanted the pressure gone and the "status quo" returned. It was pretty amazing to talk to him - to actually even tell him the words he needed to say in order to get turned around and started back on another path. His heart was so far from change that he couldn't even say the words like a parrot. It was pretty obvious - amazingly so!

It's having a heart to change that makes the difference! The ancient prophet Jeremiah asks the question, "... Can the leopard change his spots?" (Jer. 13:23) The obvious no-brainer answer is a quick, "Of course not! The leopard is stuck with his spots."

The process of "changing a leopard's spots" requires another heart. It's the "when is a leopard not a leopard?" question. And the answer is: when the leopard becomes a lion or whatever instead. Leopards don't become lions easily. Only a lion's heart can turn a leopard into a lion.

The illustration probably breaks down but the point is that real, lasting change must come from inside. It requires the painful process of a heart transplant! The heart must be willing to change from the inside out, and only God can do that kind of work!

God is the Only One in the heart restoration business! But He is and He does! God regularly changes "leopard spots" one heart at a time! It's not a cosmetic make-over. It's an extreme make-over from the inside out!

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