Call me an optomist, but I believe people can change. Not because I believe in the inherant goodness of people, but in the power of the Gospel. Paul, attesting to the sorted backgrounds of several church members in Corinth, said that they were now “washed” and “sanctified” and “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
It reminds me of my last pastorate in Cloverdale, CA. About the first week after we moved into our parsonage, one of the older deacons in the church came by with some vegetables from his garden. We enjoyed the tomatoes and cucumbers, but were wary of the green beans. They had purple splotches all over them. Janine threw the first batch out. Later on we learned from another member of the church that they were Algon’s “Good Neighbor” beans. (Turns out they are tendergreen green beans.) She asked us if we threw them out, we sheepishly admitted we had. She said, “Cook them and the purple color will disappear. And then you will taste one of the best green beans you have ever eaten.” She was right!
I believe people are like that… covered with splotches of sin. But God is in the business of “washing,” “sanctifying,” and “justifiying.” He makes even the most hardened of sinners… tender and spot free.
Check out my batch of illustrations this week on the topic of transformation.