Shelley has become a young woman who is caring and compassionate to others. In the past, John used his leadership skill to bully people attempting to get his way. Now, his spirit has become tender and pliable. His one desire is to please the Lord. Richard was in the hospital for two months and missed getting his offering envelops that are handed out at the beginning of the year. He obsessed that he could not give his offering to the Lord because he had run out of envelops.
It is a fact. When we have Jesus, he helps us to change in good ways. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells us, “In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.”
We all know the story of Zacchaeus. He a short man who wanted to see Jesus who was coming to his community. Zacchaeus climbed into a tree to be able to see over the crowd. When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and told Zacchaeus to come down because Jesus was going to his house to eat. After that encounter, Zacchaeus became a follower of Jesus.
We know that Zacchaeus became a follower because he changed. Zacchaeus said that he would give half of what he had to the poor and pay back four times if he had cheated someone.
When we repent of the bad things in our lives, God makes changes. For many years, I would do all my laundry on Monday–an all day process. I would do my husband’s laundry last to insure that all the REST of the laundry would get done. I felt putting his clothes last insured that I completed the laundry.
However, every Tuesday, I would get up for my prayer time. Sometime into my prayer I would remember that I had not put his laundry in the dryer. It was still wet in the machine.
I would rush to try to find him a clean underwear or frantically try to dry one pair. One day, I was so frustrated with myself that I prayed, “Lord, I repent. I can’t seem to do this task right. Please, help me solved this problem.” Immediately, the thought came into my mind to do Frank’s laundry first–not last.
That day I repented and changed my behavior. Frank always had underwear after that. I call this example of drastic change, Underwear Repentance.
I also learned that when I burning the peas (or the beans or an entire meal) I should not make excuses. When I faced my responsibility and took the blame for my mistake, something wonderful happened. I quit burning the peas so often.
Gossip was a problem in my life. I hated to admit it but when I did, Jesus started changing my talk.
I had to confess that I loved gossip. But I knew God hates it. Through some hurting times and through the positive example of others, I came to see how it looks to God and why He hates it.
Zacchaeus gives us an important principle to live by. He wanted God to be in his life; and he changed. Change shows people that we are God‘s children. As Christians, we must act differently from the rest of the world. That can be almost impossible but God works with us to make those changes.