No. There are lots of great programs out there (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous) that help you change your behavior. I don’t know many Believers who would claim that the Gospel is behavior modification. It’s not about trying to get us to just act a certain way. It’s the story about someone else, Jesus, who did everything for us so that we could become sons and daughters of God.
Does our behavior change?
Of course it does. When someone is born again they act different. When someone just starts “going to church” they might try to act different to fit in with the new church culture but just “going to church” will not change you on the inside.
I know this stuff is fundamental. But personally, I love the basic principles of Christ. In a complex world like ours, it’s refreshing for me to meditate on simple truths like this.
What we need is to have our hearts changed. We need to be awakened in our spirits. Yes, our minds need renewing but more than learning how to think “right thoughts” (which there’s nothing wrong with) we need to learn how to walk and live as new creations. The Word instructs (Col. 3:9-10) us to put off the old man and to put on the new man.
I believe one of the greatest miracles of the Gospel is that we become new creations (not that we can think positive thoughts). We do not just become better versions of our old self. We don’t get an extreme heart makeover. No, we get a new heart. And that part (spirit) of us that was dead becomes alive.
I don’t know about you but this is far better news to me than any behavior modification.
What do you think about this? Feel free to leave a comment below.