It is often said that “a tiger never changes his stripes” or “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” When I hear such statements I find hope in two of my favorite scriptures:
Do not conform 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. (Romans 12:2, NIV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
Something profound, precious, and perplexing happens when we entrust our lives, our past and our future, all we are, in the hands of God—the one and only, creative, true, magnificent, faithful, loving, more-than-capable God—the master sculptor. The artist of all time and space, who makes all things possible and new, promises and graciously provides us a new heart and spirit when we submit to Him. Choosing with our free will and training our minds to rest on things above disciplines us to live life from the new Spirit within—it is a life far greater than that which we are called to deny. From dependence we are changed. Actually, we are more than changed. We are transformed!
As the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, now merely an empty shell, so we shall break out of our former worldly ways and find freedom in our rebirth and life by the Spirit, as a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ.