"And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them—"
This verse struck me today because it seems to have a clear progression. Truth --> Faith --> Repentance --> Change. And clearly, the Lord is an integral part of the progression, affecting the entire process. I love the idea that all of it is for us. I think that is hard to see sometimes. We think that obedience and faith and confessing our sins... we think that is all for God, or maybe for someone else that we've hurt. And maybe in an abstract way, it is... but the main point of all of it, of everything that God asks... it isn't about anyone else. It is about effecting change in our own lives.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying "yay, we can be selfish." :) I think we have a long way to go in learning not to be, in fact... in learning to love each other and build communities where we can be honest with each other and help each other rather than hiding our real selves and pretending to be cooler than we are. ... But even learning that stuff is learning to change ourselves. Learning to change ourselves into the kind of people that know how to love... that know how to be emotionally available without being behind several locked doors. That know how to feel the spirit, and really communicate with God.
I think it is important to know that everything that God asks us is for our benefit. Not our benefit in some universal, abstract way either, though it is also that... but I am talking about directly beneficial to us as individuals. I think that helps us remember God as our friend, coach, and parent, rather than an ultra-demanding overlord-government flunky. And it could also be important to remember that our work is to change ourselves, and not to change the people around us. I think this helps us remember not to meddle, and that other people can be cool without being just like us. :)Anyway, today, let's work with God on internalizing truth, through faith and repentance, and working on that mighty change in ourselves that helps us to love, and learn, and grow and eventually become who we've always wanted to be.