By Rick Slager
Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, once said, “Change is the one constant in life.” It can be difficult to imagine any constant in our lives other than change. Despite this, many of us fear change. As David F.K. Mpanga states in Embrace Change, It Is the Only Constant:
“Some people fear change because it may mean that they lose their livelihood. Some people fear change because they believe that it may come with a loss of status or face. Other people fear change because they think that it will come with disruption, violence and instability. Some people fear change because they worry about facing the consequences of things that they have said or done. Some fear change just because they fear the unknown…”
How, as Christians, should we deal with change in our lives and in the workplace? Should we look at it with fear, worry, anxiety, and negativity or instead should we take a step back and embrace it as believers knowing of our future with Christ? Change gives us an opportunity to bring the one and only true constant—our Heavenly Father—even more front and center in our lives and in the lives of those around us both at home and in the marketplace.
I was once asked to assist a company that within months of my arrival lost 60% of its market share when overnight its two primary customers changed direction due to new leadership. The loss caused the company’s revenue to plummet and wreaked havoc with its service model, profitability, and community reputation. The most immediate and sensible solution was to cut staff, refocus the sales team on potential new customer relationships, and streamline service delivery to create greater efficiencies.
Knowing that it would take time and create uncertainty amongst the staff, we brought everyone in the organization together, clearly outlined the issues and our plan, and asked the staff to help us revise and strengthen the company’s Christian based mission, vision and values. By including them in the beginning, being transparent about what had happened and the changes to come, we enlisted their help in creating a positive future direction for the company.
In Rethink Life by Rodney and Michelle Gage, they said, “From the very moment we wake up thoughts begin to fill our mind and they form the attitude and altitude of our day. We have the opportunity and responsibility to choose the direction of our thoughts. Today choose to replace those thoughts of worry, anxiety and negativity with the truth of God’s word.”
All of us know that we live in an ever changing and fallen world. A world where change is inevitable and is often difficult. Yet, as Christians, we know that change is one of God’s many gifts. As Paul promised in Roman 8:28 “… all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” We have the ability to accept and embrace this gift with an attitude of thanksgiving, for it is in that acceptance that we can reach an altitude that will bring us ever closer to our Lord, Jesus Christ—the original true constant.