I grew up in an era where we often heard, “God loves you just the way you are!” We all understood the context. There is nothing you have to change to come to God, just come as you are.
Society seems to be loving this part of the Christian message more than the transformation part.
It’s true that there is nothing to change before we come back to God. But we must understand that anybody coming back to God has already made a change – a change of direction. For that is what repentance means, a change of direction.
Christianity is not an a-la-carte selection you simply plug into your life. If anything, Christianity is another world, a kingdom, that allows for spiritual residency.
Whilst the Christian kingdom welcomes you with open arms, it will never tolerate a duplicity of thought that could make it more like the world we came from.
You are not required to change before you come in but neither are you required to stay.
Don’t be fooled by any people group in our society that would like the loving acceptance of the Christian message to be a justification of why we don’t have to change!
The journey of every Christian individual is to eventually become like the one who rescued us. This is most definitely a message of transformation. We are all meant to reflect the glory of Christ and become ever more like Him.
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
It would be safe to say that any person who doesn’t want to be changed into His glorious image is probably still wearing a veil and missing the point completely.
When the dominant conversation becomes, “but God made me this way and wants me to be happy and enjoy who I am..”, it’s a clear sign that we are more obsessed with our own image than the image of Christ.
We come back to God because we understand that we have wandered a long way from Him. When we don’t want to change we are not really wanting to come home!