The Next Chapter

Something Has to Change: Episode 1

Meggan Stephens

11/22/20235 min read

low light stage microphone photography
low light stage microphone photography


Merriam-Webster defines change as a verb meaning, “to become different.” Every one of us have something about ourselves we’d like to change, or more concretely, make different. For some of us, we’d like to change the way we look, our physique or our style. For others, we may be fine with how we look, but are seeking internal change of the heart and mind. Perhaps you’d like to handle stress, anger, or grief in a healthier way. I would presume in today’s society of influential social media, majority of people may desire to see change both inwardly and outwardly. We live in a constant state of comparison, a practice in itself that depletes our internal joy. Stephen suggests that change is the result of the choices that follow challenges.


In life, challenges come to us often, and in various forms, provoking us to make choices. We’ve all heard and read those famous quotes along the lines of “I like a challenge.” While the truth is, most would agree that life is tough enough without any added obstacles. Challenges bring about discomfort. And let’s face it, none of us actually enjoy being uncomfortable, even for short periods of time. The host of Contemporary Speaks suggests that challenges are actually beneficial to our growth. Choosing to rise up to the difficulty of each new obstacle in life will produce change. The choices you make will inevitably change you. My mother would always say, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” We cannot expect ourselves to automatically change once we reach a certain age or place in life. The most cliché example is diet and exercise. If you look at any “before and after” picture, you will notice a physical change in that individual’s appearance. One that did not occur without hard work and challenge. The real question is, how desperate are you for change? If you become desperate enough, you will find yourself facing new challenges head-on.


What happens when you make a choice, and you do well for a few days, but then you revert back? We’re creatures of habit, always defaulting to our old ways. The unhealthy cycles we’re bound to dictate our lives. This is where choice comes into play. Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us life and death have been set before us, therefore, choose life. From the beginning, God has always given people free choice, and He honors the decisions we make. Whether you stand on a bridge, or jump off of one, you’re free to do as you please. God is not some puppet-master in the sky forcing you to do His will. We must choose to examine ourselves, assessing the way we feel. Ask yourself, is it normal to wake up in the morning and start to count down the hours until you can go back to sleep? Is it normal to be full of anger all the time? Is it normal to sit alone silently in the dark, staring at the walls? Maybe you’ve spent so much of your life feeling this way that your answer is “Yes, this is just the way I am.” And that, my friend, is the unhealthy cycle.


Can an unhealthy cycle be broken? Stephen makes a profound statement: “Unhealthy cycles that aren’t broken will eventually break you.” What does an unhealthy cycle look like and how can we spot it in our own lives? Any time we are living outside of the gravity of the goodness of God, we will feel the effects of said gravity. We will find ourselves in the most common unhealthy cycle of mental instability, desperately longing for a sense of normalcy in our minds and hearts. Unstable people make unstable choices. We are a culture who diligently seek fulfillment and satisfaction from our surroundings rather than from above. We long for instantaneous gratification in relationships, food, material possessions, and substances. We are all self-medicating in any way that brings short-term peace to our minds. But what if I told you there is an internal joy that comes from God alone? A joy and peace that cannot be matched by anything in this world. Would you be desperate enough to seek it?

Repurpose Relationships

Stephen suggests that one way to break an unhealthy cycle is to repurpose relationships. In a “cancel culture,” there’s no value in repurposing anything. Long term relationships are a thing of the past. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and we’re taught from the time we can walk that if someone hits you, you better hit them back. Everyone is out for themselves, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why there are so many people in the world? Do you think perhaps we weren’t designed to go through life alone, worrying only about me and mine? We so easily hold others to higher standards than we hold ourselves, dropping people completely at the first offense. Stephen speaks of a less familiar text out of the Apocrypha in the ninth chapter of the book of Sirach. “Don’t abandon old friends, newer ones are not their equals.” If you’ve been fortunate enough to experience long-term friendship, you’d know this text to prove true. To throw away relationships cuts off the opportunity to minister to someone. Instead, we must learn to repurpose the relationship.

How to Repurpose Relationships

What is meant by the host in saying to “repurpose the relationship?” John 10:10 says the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. As Stephen said, I as well have always mistaken this Scripture to say “the enemy” rather than “the thief.” He explained that the thief can be your enemy, but is not always. What we must focus on is that the thief comes to do a specific work in your life. In every relationship, there is a work. Someone is either in your life to walk on the same path as you, or to challenge and grow you on the path you’re walking. Even Jesus Himself had a devil walking with him. Can you imagine the challenges he must have faced with Judas? However, we never see Jesus cut him off. Judas remains under the teachings and ministering of the Messiah until he eventually cuts himself off. There is a purpose in every relationship we hold. Stephen challenges us to draw near to the relationships that produce friction. These are the kind of relationships that develop our character and challenge the way in which we think.

Something Has To Change

The “something” that has to change in us is the way we think. Can you reimagine your life going in a new direction? Can you envision the process, the things in which you must do to become different? You don’t realize it, but you’ve spent much of your time envisioning your life going in the wrong direction. Reimagine your life, set values for yourself, and don’t become persuaded to bend your values to the influences of others. Be mindful that progress is a bumpy road. It isn’t meant to be easy. Making a change and expecting immediate results is illogical. Progress takes work. Work at relationships, dealing with people, and never turning off your compassion for others.

In Genesis 4:6-7, God asks Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” If we do what is pleasing to God, will He not give us joy in return? Jeremiah 29:11-12 says that God has good plans for you. As you begin your next chapter, start by changing the way you serve people, and your heart towards others. Do not give expecting anything in return. Simply do good, and watch yourself feel good.

Out of the foundation of Contemporary Church comes the next chapter in modern-day ministry. A brand-new, live, weekly podcast titled Contemporary Speaks is changing the “fishers of men” method while keeping the same “Good News” message. The host, Stephen, is here to “help you out,” discussing the real issues we deal with as real people.

He introduces the first topic of
“Something Has to Change”
with several thought-provoking questions:
  • Am I able to change who I’ve always been?
  • Am I bound to make the same mistakes?
  • Can the unwanted cycles I’m stuck in be broken?
Ultimately, the answers to these questions are really up to you.

Want to dive deeper?

Watch the full episode