(Hint: I’m not talking about Jesus) The good church answer to that question would be God, Jesus, Holy Spirit or any combination of the three.
I want to get a bit deeper though, because while it is true that transformation that lasts and is beautiful and life-giving comes from a friendship with God, the reality can’t be ignored:
Other people make us change.
Think about it: you can read about the example of Jesus, pray for direction, but 9 times out of 10 we try to find someone who is living with and around us, experiencing this time and this moment, and watch them – we try to find answers and direction by watching people who are in the same world and on the same journey.
Sometimes they influence us for the good.
So, the question is again – Who changes you?
Who by their life and example to you is helping you become a different person? Who has the most influence on your life? Is that a good thing? Ask yourself these questions:
- Who do I go to with spiritual questions or life altering decisions that need to be made?
- What does the track record of me taking their advice look like?
- Are they really the person I am looking to become? i.e. Do they look like Jesus?
What this is all leading up to is one important thought: We should be intentionally choosing one or two spiritual friends who guide us in the direction of becoming more and more like Jesus.
Not that they are our only friends, but that they are people we share our journey with on a deep and personal level and help us listen to God for the next step in our transformation. They should be our "peers" - meaning they should share much of our rhythm of life and be walking much of the same road we are, and it doesn't hurt if they are a little farther along.
We need to spend time praying with those folks and listening to God together - and being changed by the process.
So, who changes you?
Another hint: the answer is never “no one”. Someone is changing you. If we answer "no one", we may be in trouble because we could be missing the source of greatest influence on our lives.
If you want help with this one, please get in touch with me. I’d love to talk to you more about spiritual friendship.