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William Paul Young on Changing While Showing Grace

I was talking to a friend today, and he reminded me of a quote that I should have shared here!

“But it is hard work to change, to be open, to take the risk of trust. Change always involves death and resurrection, and both are uncomfortable. Death because it involves letting go of old ways of seeing, of abandoning sometimes precious prejudices. It means having to ask for forgiveness and humble ourselves. And resurrection is no easy process either; having to take risks of trust that were not required when everything seemed certain, agreeing with the new ways of seeing while not obliterating the people around you, some who told you what they thought was true but isn’t after all.” – William Paul Young (Foreword in “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God”)

When you change your mind or learn something new, that can mean letting go of something your parents, teachers, or other influential person taught you in the past. This process can be painful because you may feel like you’re betraying your old mentors, but in reality you are staying faithful to God by following truth wherever it goes.

How do we go through this process without “obliterating” those who still see things in the way we once did?

I’m not always sure. Sometimes I’ve said too much while other times I didn’t say what I think I should say at the time.

But I think it comes down to a simple question: do you believe that while you believed or practiced whatever it is that you’ve moved beyond that you were loved by God and covered by grace? If so, then why not extend that same grace towards others?

This doesn’t mean never talking to them about it, especially if you think learning what you’ve learned can lead them closer to God, but it does mean being filled with love when you do talk to them.

That is one argument another thinker named Barton W. Stone made concerning the denominations he had left. You can read that quote and more in my paper on the Restoration Movement:

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