The movie Amazing Grace is a story of William Wilberforce's life. In the movie one of his friends, the future Prime Minister, is discussing change in England. The war for America's independence is being fought. The abolition of slavery is being considered by some. Change is on the horizon for the country, it's leaders and it's people. Wilberforce says to his friend "[England] will soon change." And his young friend from parliament replies, "Only if we change it. You don't believe you and I could change things?" Wilberforce's response is, "I would change myself first."
Wilberforce in the eyes of some, especially the peers of his day, would be considered a dreamer and a fool. But certainly he was wiser than most. He knew that, in and of himself, he had nothing to offer the world without first being changed into what he was supposed to be. His fight against injustice was dictated and defined by God. Not by his feelings, though certainly they were stirred, or man's opinion. Even though he was at the forefront of the abolition of slavery in his time, something today's liberals and conservatives alike would champion, I don't think he would be popular at all today. The reason is his motivation. Freedom isn't something that one man bestows on another, it comes from God alone, the creator of man and his freedom. But what do you do with freedom when you remove God? Something to ponder.
We as a society, a nation, and our leaders would do well to remember, before we seek to change others we should first seek to change ourselves. Power corrupts quickly, if internal change isn't undertaken before it's acquired it can ruin a man. That's true from the top down, from the presidency to county commissioner. And leadership in the church is certainly no exception. So when you're asked to believe what someone says make sure it lines up with what they live. And we should certainly make sure that is true of ourselves as well. So let's seek first to change ourselves, it will have more affect than we know.