The Power To Change

Erik Cooper —  June 18, 2012 — 6 Comments

After another week in Honduras, one thing has become stunningly clear…

I can’t fix their problems.

We experience. We feel. We brainstorm. We dialog.

We should do this. We could try that. What if we?

Or…

They need to do this. Or they should try that. What if they?

Our efforts are futile when they start with us. Our world is small when who we are, what we think, or what we can accomplish is the root of our action. The answer for Honduran poverty, American consumerism, government corruption, rampant fatherlessness, sustainable economic viability (pick your issue) will never originate in what we can do.

It rests in what God has already done.

The only hope for root transformation in my personal life or in the complexity of an entire culture is Jesus Christ.

Here’s an entry from my journal during our time in Honduras:

“The Gospel is the transforming power, not our wisdom and problem solving. Does that mean we shouldn’t work? No! But everything we do must be a response to what Christ has already done. Less focus on our efforts, more focus on His accomplishments.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

More on our trip to Honduras later this week.

6 responses to The Power To Change

  1. Absolutely right. Christ’s work of redemption is complete. Our life of carrying a cross in his footsteps is still in progress. When w separate the work if the leader (Jesus) and the followers (us) you start to encounter theological problems. I always say, “if you want to understand how something works, take it apart. But if you want it to actually work, leave it together.” Jesus said “follow me.” Nothing illuminates God’s Word like doing exactly that. Welcome back from Guatemala!

    • So true.
      When our accomplishments are tethered to our resources they will never go beyond ourselves… when we are dependent upon Jesus it’s His responsibility to accomplish what (how and when) He wants.

      • Agreed Steve. The Gospel is more than the power to make a one-time decision, taking us from death to life. It is life….ongoing, daily. It’s what gives us the power to transform. Every day.

    • “if you want to understand how something works, take it apart. But if you want it to actually work, leave it together.”

      That’s an interesting quote Joe….that yours? Love to hear more of your thoughts on that.

      Keep up the good work my friend!

  2. Keith Thompson June 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Interesting topic Erik. Welcome home by the way!

    In my experience, part of letting Jesus’ agenda take control is checking my expectations at the door. If I expect to solve something on a mission trip, I will judge my accomplishments based on that expectation AND I will talk about the work to be done in that way. HOWEVER, if I am focused on joining with my brothers and sisters in solidarity(Ephesians 4:1-6), I have already changed the focus and direction of my efforts and that of the people I am visiting. I see it as a shared human experience where people so different from each other come together to advance the Kingdom through encouragement, idea exchange, and servanthood. I think that’s valid problemsolving.

    • Absolutely Keith….I’m not resolving to fatalism (it’s all worthless, worthless). That’s not the Gospel. But I need to renew my belief in the ONGOING DAILY power of the Gospel. What Christ HAS DONE for us is what gives us the power to change. Efforts to “fix ourselves” are simply futile. Love MoM. You guys are making a difference across the globe! Keep it up!

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