Embrace the process (religion)

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2016

By Jason Green

We recently watched a national championship game featuring two outstanding teams. The game, for these teams, was the culmination of a lot of hard work. It was the “end game” or result of an amazing amount of effort and preparation.

One team was coached by a young man who is considered an up-and-coming guy in the profession while the other team was coached by a man many seem to believe could be the best college football coach ever. Though different personalities, both men on their respective paths to excellence “preached” a very simple word: process.

That process would involve the things each team was willing to do in order to attain excellence.

The teams began their work well before the big game. The work began when no one else was watching. It began in the wee hours of the morning, with running, weight lifting, meetings and the like. The process began with committing to getting the little things right daily, early even though they might not have realized the pay off in doing so. When they did, the big promised payoff came. Excellence was the product of the process.

A new year has now begun and is a chance for us to be better…to love better, to serve better, to follow better—to simply live better.

It’s time to map out your plan for change and personal improvement for 2016 and to put together your process to become a better version of yourself in the new year. To help, let me share a scriptural process that is guaranteed to have a significant influence in your march toward an excellently lived life.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says this: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”

Scripture says the first step of this process is your surrender. Trusting the Lord completely is key. The next step is an open line of communication being established; talk with the one who made and brought you from death into life. Listen through prayer and through the way He speaks to you through scripture. Find out from Him the direction for you and move in it.

The next step is to accept the areas of your life that are unhealthy and embrace the mistakes that you’ve made as just that: mistakes. Scripture tells us that through Christ, God is able to forgive us of our mistakes and remove them. Accept the consequences of those mistakes and move forward.

The result of our surrender and moving in God’s direction is this: God does His part in the process. He hears us—our communication is complete. He forgives us—He makes our relationship with Him right and healthy. Then he completes the process—heals us. That is, peace is declared in our relationship with Him and we gain the strength and wisdom to walk well with the Lord. That’s the process of being made new.

That’s what I’m resolved to do this year. I believe I’ll be a better husband, a better father, a better son, a better brother, a better pastor, and a better friend if I let God do his part, while willingly doing mine in the process.

Let’s commit to this and see what God does through this proven process.

The Rev. Jason Green is pastor of Mineral Springs Baptist Church. Look for another installment of his column in a future edition of The Clanton Advertiser.