It’s a question that haunts me: Can people change?
Some say no, a person doesn’t change—a leopard can’t switch its spots. Others believe in change so much they naively approach life and often end up getting burned.
I don’t know the answer. In my life, there have been areas of great change. I’ve become a better man. Then there are those areas I haven’t changed, at least not as quickly as I hoped. The only thing I do know, or believe, is that God wants to change us. It’s hard for me to believe God wants us to remain stuck in our ruts, our own personal hells.
Yet, how often do we do just that?
I’ve known those who lived, got old and passed on—still bitter, racist and angry as they were from the start. Was that the way it was supposed to be? Did God want them to go through a life still stuck in harmful patterns? If i answer yes to that, I’ll lose all hope for this life.
So does God change people? Do we have to be willing for him to change us?
A preacher from Alabama, David Platt, wrote a book called Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream. He asked, “What if God is radically committed to showing himself strong on behalf of a people who express their need for him so their lives might make much of him.”
My move to Northern California was a difficult one. It was stressful and hurried. It put a tremendous strain on me. But I’ve never leaned on God as much as I did during that time. I prayed constantly, read the bible a ton, surrounded myself with friends that encouraged and strengthened me.
However, now that I’ve settled in and found a groove, I’ve started settling. Giving myself those small allowances of comfort—not praying as feverishly as I was, going an extra day or two without reading the bible. I’m not sure if there is a correlation or not, but I’m also becoming grumpier in traffic and snapping at people more (at least under my breath).
Maybe that’s the answer. It’s not that we can’t change. It’s just that it’s too easy not to.