Transformed people transform people

(I want to grow, but HOW?- part 12)

“Remember, it is only transformed people that have the power to transform others.” - Richard Rohr

Jamie’s post from last week about her journey of transformation and gaining a self has already produced tremendous fruit: One friend has already made an appointment with a therapist, two others are pursuing a Spiritual Director for the first time, and many others pursued Jamie to talk about their journeys and learn more about hers.

God transformed Jamie from Tiptoe to Clang, Clang told her story, and seeds of transformation and new life were planted.

Two weeks ago my friend Keith was in town leading a session for some friends of mine on inner-healing prayer. Keith told his story about the first time he went to an inner-healing workshop. He went in a little skeptical because, up until that point, he hadn’t experienced God’s power in a tangible way. But he was open. Keith had struggled with pornography for many years, and now he was married and had all the accountability measures you could imagine around him. He had it “under control”, but it still had him in bondage. During the workshop, God brought up a memory of when Keith was 4 years old and his cousins introduced him to pornographic magazines. Through the inner-healing process, Keith pictured Jesus coming into that room, picking him up and taking him out of the room, and then he saw the entire room bricked off. In that moment, in his spirit, he felt freedom from his intense struggle with pornography. Keith has had to continue to choose the good and develop good habits but, since that day, his struggle with pornography was transformed. Because of that transformation, Keith caught a vision to bring that same freedom he had experienced to others. He and his wife have now prayed for hundreds of people to bring about the same freedom, wholeness, and transformation that he experienced.

Keith wasn’t expecting it, but God graciously brought healing and deliverance through bringing awareness of when Satan began to use perversion to keep Keith in bondage. Keith stepped into that healing and freedom. After that, he began to see many people around him in bondage in many different ways, so he got equipped and started offering the same freedom that he had experienced. Their mantra is, “Free people free people.” I like it and I think he’s right.

Transformed people transform people.

God took two sets of our friends on a journey and developed in both of them a heart for the poor. They both got to a place where they felt disobedient to God if they were not tangibly loving the poor. Blake and Sarah’s journey led their entire family to Peru for five years to empower women out of poverty. Erin and Andy’s journey led them to take ownership in a local homeless ministry.

God took both of these couples and transformed their vision. Once they were seeing in a new way, seeing the commands of Jesus and those in need in the world, they were compelled to action. Now God is using that new vision and their obedience to bring transformation among the poor.

Transformed people transform people.

Our friend Ashley went on a trip to South Africa several months ago where she witnessed God intervene supernaturally numerous times. She was open to God working like this, she just had never witnessed or experienced him in this way herself. This trip transformed Ashley’s beliefs, and instead of just saying, “Well God works that way in Africa, but he doesn’t work that way at home,” she came back and started praying for people. Guess what, everybody who has been prayed for has been blessed and felt loved, and a handful have been healed.

God revealed himself to Ashley in new ways, in transformative ways. Praying for people has been new for Ash and outside her box, but because of how her paradigm and beliefs have been transformed, she can’t help but pray for people now.

Transformed people transform people.

How about the woman at the well or Paul in the Scriptures? Jesus exposed her deepest roots and offered her living water, she was transformed, and then that transformation spread to her entire village. Or Paul, persecuting followers of the Way when God invades his space and gives him new vision so that he would direct his zealousness and passion to advance the Kingdom of God instead of stand in it’s way. God transformed Paul, and the transformation he produced and catalyzed is probably too great to count.

So why do transformed people have the power to transform others? I have two ideas, and they really are two-sides of the same coin:

  1. Authenticity: When people can see the transformation in you, when they hear and see it, they trust you. If they are in a place of wanting to grow or in a place of hopelessness, they can see that transformation is possible, which gives them hope and potentially even a path forward. “If it could happen to her, it could happen to me.” Also, it’s that age old saying, “You can only take somebody as far as you’ve gone.”

  2. Transformed people have something to offer. I’m finding this hard to put into words. It’s different than having a talent or a skill to offer, it’s almost like it’s a healthy or restored piece of your soul that you are offering. Maybe it’s the true you, which is why it’s so attractive and magnetic to people. When you run into a transformed person or hear their story, it’s almost as if your soul is crying out from within, “I want that also!”

I sometimes wonder if this is where the Church as a whole has fallen short. We “know” the truth, we believe the right things, but we haven’t authentically experienced transformation. We proclaim that people can experience new life, and we believe it, it’s just that we haven’t experienced it the way we thought we would.

These last few months I’ve been trying to answer the question I believe many of us are asking, “I want to grow, but HOW?” I hope it has been helpful.

But to close, I want to answer a different question. I’m not sure any of us would say it out loud, but I think it’s there:

“I want to grow, but WHY?

That may seem like an odd question, but I think it’s rooted in one or many of the following beliefs:

Growth seems like hard work.

I’m forgiven, I’m going to heaven.

I’m too busy, man. I’m barely keeping the wheels on.

I’m used to these chains, freedom is scarier than this.

I’m not going there, I’m not opening Pandora’s box, my life is good how it is.

Are any of those messages familiar? If so, what voice is giving that message?

Here’s the thing, and I don’t think this is an overstatement, if we all were transformed people, we could transform the world.

It starts with us. We can’t skip ourselves. We can’t skip the middle.

Tiptoe didn’t become Clang overnight, and she’s just getting started.

Pursue growth! Healing, wholeness, and transformation is available. Be the transformation you want to see in the world, then it will naturally get passed on.

Let's go get it in 2018!!!

#Iwanttogrow #Transformation #RichardRohr