Changed or what?
I have this little setting in my computer “pull-down” menus. It’s called “Preferences”. It allows me to adjust numbers of aspects, appearances and actions in various programs, to my total liking. It’s my computer, . . . my way.
And I can change them any time I want. I don’t have to ask anyone . . . and I don’t care whether they like it or not. People have had that same setting for years prior to computers, in their individual lives.
Unfortunately it only works well if you are an absolute hermit or working toward that end. The more people you add to the equation, the tougher it gets. When I was unmarried, unemployed, unchurched, unchallenged and childless and it worked pretty good. The “preference settings” in my life are constantly challenged. Things change, . . . I adjust . . . or become ineffective and bitter.
The seemingly rigid Apostle Paul laid down a helpful tip for preference setting . . . many of them actually but this in particular.
“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Inflexibility is a clear symptom of self-centredness. Don’t like that do you . . . it is true. Paul didn’t change his preferences, I am sure. And you don’t have to change yours.
But you do have to surrender them if you want to get along with people and discover intimacy with God.
In our church services we say, “There is something for everyone to hate.” And that is a good thing because God works in people’s lives as they remember that the world doesn’t revolve around them. There is always a bigger picture. “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”