We need more than morality…we need transformation…
Moral reformation vs Spiritual transformation. One is the essence of Christianity. The other is the way of the world. The two phrases can be a little daunting at first, but with a little explanation, my hope is that they will make perfect sense. Let me briefly define each one and then give a little explanation of each…
Moral reformation can also be called behavior modification. It’s the attempt by man to make himself morally “better”. It’s focused primarily on changed behavior rather than on the heart. It’s an outside-in approach to change. Anyone, with the right amount of discipline, can morally reform themselves.
Spiritual transformation goes much deeper than altered behavior. It’s a renovation of the heart. It’s an inside-out transformation where changed behavior and lifestyle result from a radically transformed heart and mind. No one has the ability to spiritually transform themselves; only God through Christ can transform us.
Ok, so why am I saying all this and using all this jargon. Well, because there are so many of us who have falsely understood Christianity to merely be moral reformation. Many who would call themselves Christ followers know very little of His transforming power. Instead, many of us have spent weeks, months, and even years of our Christian lives stuck in the lifeless cycle of moral reformation.
What we long for at the deepest levels is to be transformed, made new from the inside out. Yet far too often we’ve settled for moral reformation…we’ve tried to be better people, love others better, stop doing sinful things, etc. but at then end of it all we’re simply serving the religion of “try-harderism”. Trying to be a morally good person apart from a spiritually transformed heart is dead religion. There is no life. There is no lasting joy.
I invite you to run with me today to the only One who can transform us from the inside out. We are in deep need of continual heart renovation, and thankfully for us that’s exactly what Jesus is in the business of doing! He loves to take stony hard hearts and make them soft and new. Let’s renounce our love affair with the religion of try-harderism and let’s run to Jesus and let Him transform our hearts to serve Him with joy!