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Trevor E.S. Smith | The quest for breakthrough - Distinguishing between change and transformation

Published:Sunday | June 14, 2020 | 12:17 AM


All too often, our lives are filled with recurring themes. We seem to be faced with the same challenges, fighting the same battles over and over.

Breaking this cycle requires a fundamental breakthrough. The renewing of our minds is central to this quest for breakthrough transformation. The apostle Paul throws out a challenge to us in his letter to the church in Rome: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom 12:2).

This quest for breakthrough transformation involves making a clear distinction between change and transformation.

Transformation is deeper and more fundamental. It involves the creation of new possibilities that may not have been apparent before the transformation. Change relates to producing variations on an existing theme.

If I turn my coat inside out, it will appear to be different, but it will be the same coat. With CHANGE, the fundamentals remain essentially the same, although a significant level of modification is possible.

Converting water to steam qualifies as transformation. The end result operates on a new plane and opens up totally new opportunities. An individual who is transformed is able to create new ways of being that were not apparent earlier. This is the renewing of the mind that Paul speaks about. The transformation represents a break with the past – ‘no longer conforming to the pattern of this world’. It is like taking out a new, blank canvas. We are not constrained by what was drawn before. We can create a brand new picture.

When we grasp the true implications of renewing the mind and transformation, we do not have to conform to our past. We can break the cycle. We can invent new possibilities for our lives.

Transformation results, in the first place, from a willingness to take action as against being trapped in the role of being a spectator. The transformed person does not watch the world go by. The renewed mind is conscious of its capacity to invent new possibilities and sets about creating them. We do NOT have to feel powerless in the face of unfolding events.

Transformation results, secondly, from looking beyond the limits of change. If we are thirsty and faced with only ice cubes, our efforts are NOT directed at changing the size of the ice cube. Instead, we work with the ice cubes as they ARE. We can discern that removing the ice cubes from the environment of the freezer produces the transformation we seek.

All we need to do is to produce the environment that is conducive to the desired result, and the transformation takes place. We are now looking at a whole new situation with endless opportunities!

How can we set about creating conducive environments?

Join in the quest for breakthrough transformations! Commit today to making blank canvases available for the painting of new worlds full of unlimited possibilities.

“You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint,” says Isaiah 57:10.

The renewed mind will re-examine itself. It will identify what is unacceptable in the transformed future and undergo the necessary transformation. Internal renewal precedes transformation that involves others.

Many times, we fail to achieve our objectives because we are seeking solutions in the special packaging that we have envisaged. Our answers will not always come in fancy packages. We have to learn to work with what we have and what we can access. Start somewhere. Make a difference in some way!


1. The state after transformation bears little resemblance to the original state.

2. Transformation is swift and not a never-ending process of gradual change.

3. Transformation is sustained and free of on-off/off-on inconsistency.

The transformed individual displays the fruit of the Spirit. Please give your full attention to the following exercise:

1. Think of one way in which you can be LOVING.

2. Think of one way in which you can be JOYFUL.

3. Think of one way in which you can be PEACEFUL.

4. Think of one way in which you can be PATIENT.

Trevor E.S. Smith – Success with People Academy. High performance team behavioural coach, executive team and CEO adviser, team dynamics and engagement expert, sales team activator, technology solutions provider, behavioural assessments facilitator.