Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Can a leopard change his spots?
Can an Ethiopian change his skin?
Can we… can I… change who I am and the way I do things that I’ve followed for decades?
I know someone will quote Phil 4:13… and I agree. Someone else will suggest Phil 2:13… and I agree. It’s just that right now I’m in a major evaluation stage and am wondering what the answers are, or will be.
Those four questions are serious for me. Very serious! Then right behind them I think of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:10…
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
By God’s grace… providence… mercy… and will… “I am what I am.” My personality was given to me by God’s grace, but I am responsible for how I act. The gifts and abilities I have were bestowed upon me by God’s will, but I am responsible for putting them into practice. Who I am and what I am comes from the loving hand of God, yet I am accountable for being a good steward of what I have been given. At the same time, what I do is totally within God’s predefined parameters. (This paragraph leaves me scratching my head!)
At what point do you say… “The way I’ve been doing things (Who I am) needs to be revamped?” When do you look at your life and come to the conclusion… “It is time for a change… a substantive change… a whole life makeover?” AND if/when you come to such a conclusion, is it possible to change? AND where do you start?
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Can a leopard change his spots? Can an Ethiopian change his skin? Those questions remain to be answered…
Ron, you always say a lot, or raise a lot of questions in so few words. Thank you for your blog. You have been an encouragement over the half year that I have been following you. Keep up the pondering! Now I am pondering with you on this one. Have you ever read every verse in the Bible with the word grace in it during one block of time? “From grace to grace!” That study opened my eyes to the grace of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NASB)
Hard to argue with Scripture… and so I ask… why then with that being true do we continue to struggle with besetting sin? Why did David continue to battle selfishness? Why did Peter continue to be a racist? Why did Elijah continue to battle fear? Why did Jonah still battle his racist attitudes? Why did Abraham lie?
Yes… in Christ we ARE a new creation. Our spirit is born again to life. Yet it was Paul who said in Romans 7 (After his conversion), the things I don’t want to do I do, and the things I want to do I don’t do. The desire is in me but how to accomplish what I want is not!
That are the things I’m wondering about…