As the world moves on from “shelter-at-home” to “try out a new normal,” the conversation turns to change.

How has the COVID-19 crisis changed your life?

We altered shopping, made friends with face coverings, and experienced more of the online life than wanted.

We think we have changed. But have we?

Dr. Noam Shpancer, who studies human behavior, is skeptical.

Most of the lessons of coronavirus—the clarified priorities; the acute awareness of life’s fragility and worth; the new appreciation of simple social pleasures; those grand promises we make to ourselves when our taken-for-granted assumptions are temporarily violated—will fade with time, becoming mere tales of contexts past. And we will go back to being short-sighted, self-focused, conflicted, and as mired in trivial preoccupations as ever. Only by becoming aware of this default mode in our system do we gain the possibility of subverting it.

The problem with most change is its source. We change the outside without any change on the inside. When change is about behavior rather than the heart, it will revert back to what was.

That’s why Jesus emphasized a different kind of change.

When Jesus worked miracles in the town of Galilee, the works amazed them but did not change them. Matthew tells us,

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed because they did not repent.” (Mt 11.20)

Jesus was looking for a deep down, below the skin kind of change. They would not change that much.

If you are relying on COVID experience to change you, you will find yourself disappointed. But if you bring your heart to God’s will, you change not only actions but your reason for living.

Don’t depend on circumstances to change you. Take your life to God and let him do the changing.

-Robert G. Taylor-