Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

Who Will Change You?

I’ve heard so much about the world changing that I feel as if tomorrow anything could happen. From flags to marriage to the next President of the United States -- change is everywhere.

What I love about change is how people deal with it. Some people hold on to the past, some ignore it, and some embrace it with open arms. The other reality with change is that with it comes passion. I’ve seen more passionate debates, rants, articles, and blogs on why their side of the argument is right in the past week than I think in my entire life combined.

I don’t mind passion, in fact, I embrace it. I love people who have passionate discussion, but I was also reminded this week that passion doesn’t usually work. Nine times out of ten one passionate person has no chance at convincing another passionate person that his side of the argument is wrong. And, even worse, passionate discussion in the wrong place can often lead to poor decisions and conflict.

The more I wrestled with this, the more I thought about it in my own life. What has caused me to change? I’ve never changed for someone screaming at me from the corner. I’ve never changed because someone waived a Bible at me and told me I was wrong. I’ve never changed because of a rant on Facebook.

The only time in my life that I’ve ever experienced significant change was when I had a deep enough relationship with someone to actually have healthy dialogue.

Change doesn’t happen with rants, it happens with relationships. So then that leads me to the next logical thought: Can I change anything if people who think the same as me surround me? Of course not! The problem with people who all think the same as me is that there is nothing to change.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that if any one of us really wants change, we must be willing to get into relationships with people who are different from us, who don’t think the same way, and who are brave enough to have a relationship rather than just rant.

I wonder what the world would be like if we all just spent time with the person on the other side of the argument, if we sought to be in relationship rather than agreement?

Who are you in a relationship with?

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