“That’s just the way I am. I don’t need to change!” Sadly, this is an extremely dangerous comment many individuals are guilty of saying. Our relationship with God and our relationships with people will suffer as a result of this attitude and way of thinking.
Our Creator made us relational. That’s why prolonged isolation and damaged relationships greatly affect our lives in a negative way. I have seen first-hand in my life as well as in others how immature behavior destroys relationships. The pain is so extreme that many individuals decide to give up on pursuing certain relationships. As a result, they find themselves carrying over the same immature behavior in the new relationships they are trying to create. Christ-centered relationships take time to develop and it requires asking the Lord to help us be continuously filled with the Spirit. If we desire to have successful, long-lasting relationships with people, it is crucial we grow “and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
The front cover of one of Max Lucado’s books states it perfectly: “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be… Just Like Jesus.” Christ always demonstrated emotionally and spiritually mature behavior. If we make the decision to accept Jesus Christ into our hearts and make the commitment to build a close relationship with Him, we will fall in love with our Savior and have a desire to change our immature ways. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self; created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Our Heavenly Father never said it would be easy to embark on the journey towards maturity. However, we will experience greater joy as our relationship with God deepens and our relationships with people become more Christ-centered.