I have described my understanding of “transformation” in an earlier post. This post is a brief description from a slightly different perspective for a secular audience, and two brief descriptions for a Christian audience. The third description was added in May 2019.
First description…Transformation is change in the deepest part of one’s being that puts loving Creator of all universes and every neighbor, known and unknown, at the center of one’s worldview.
Personal Transformation is initiated by the Creator of all universes. Engaging in transformation involves:
- Becoming aware of how my beliefs, attitudes, ways I interact with others are harmful to facilitating transformation in others.
- Replacing obstructive practices with non-obstructive ones. Typically this will require dependence on the Creator for guidance and strength to sustain various changes in beliefs, attitudes and practices. A Spiritual Director can help with this.
- Taking care of my own sets of needs for the purpose of being better prepared to enable and encourage transformation in others (putting on their new self and living out of it minute by minute).
Second description…Transformation is much more than change. Transformation is profound holistic change at the root of being. A transformed person is sustained by kingdom values. A transformed society is sustained by kingdom values. Any individual or social change that does not involve living by kingdom values is not transformation.
One outcome of Transformation is more clarity on one’s true vocation as children of God. That vocation is to be more loving and just in their relationships with self, with each other, with the community, with God, and with their environment.
Another outcome is willingness to confront evil in their personal lives and in the community. Suffering that restores right relationships is an integral part of transformational development; Jesus on the cross is an essential image for understanding transformational development.
Third description… Selwyn Hughes, British evangelist, described transformation as a lifelong continuous process of being released from the deadly disease of unbalanced preoccupation with self (Every Day With Jesus, January 02, 2006).
God’s goal for those who accept God’s invitation to be fully human is that they should become like Christ in their character. (See 1 John 3:2.) This is the essence of transformation. This is the work of God in the world; to restore us fallen beings to the original image of God; to transform us.