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Do You Think You Can Change? January 26, 2011

Posted by Jeremy in Thoughts on Theology.
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Sorry for the lack of blog post this past Monday.  I was out of town in Hickory, NC with the other InterVarsity staff for our area team meeting.

I think many of us have a propensity to be satisfied the way we are or at least to be resolved that this is “just the way I am.”  Part of this is due to a belief that there is no possibility for genuine personality change.   This view of man is decidingly unbiblical.  Personality can indeed change.

“God throughout history, has turned Jacobs into Israels, Simons into Peters, and Sauls into Pauls.” (Competent to Counsel, Jay Adams, chpt. 5, section “sanctification means change”)

Jay Adams, in his book Competent to Counsel, says that God has given all of us what the Bible calls nature and it’s how we use that nature that determines our personality.  These habits over time become almost “second nature” and become very much a part of who we are as a man or woman.  But at the core they are still learned habits and anything that is learned can be unlearned.

This is encouraging for someone like me.  There are areas of my life that I desire to be different.  I desire to be slow to anger and to abound in love and grace as two examples.  This would be completely impossible apart from God working through his Word, that is Scripture, in my life.

Adams goes on to explain that decisions that we made yesterday are based on the information we had then and so today is a new day in which as we encounter new data that shows our judgments yesterday to be poor, we need to change them.  “God’s Word changes people, changes their thinking, changes their decisions, and changes their behavior”

I can’t agree more.  Ask my wife Tracy, the person I was five years ago when we got married is not the person I am today.  This change has been for the better.  The more I have submitted myself to Scripture and to the Spirits work in my life the more my personality has changed.

“In principle it is true that believers have been declared perfect in Christ, but now they must grow more like Christ in practice.  New truths discovered in the study of the Scriptures must become new practices woven into the fabric of one’s daily life.” (Competent to Counsel, Jay Adams, chpt. 5, section “sanctification means change”)

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