You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting!

There’s an old joke about two children fighting over the last apple in the bowl. Their mom steps in and asks, “Now, children, what would Jesus do?”

One child replies begrudgingly, “Jesus would give up the apple so the other person could have it.”

Mom proudly affirms, “That’s right!”

“Okay, then.” Says the other child brightly. Pointing at the first child she announces, “YOU be Jesus.”
Funny how easy it can be to apply scripture to other people’s lives. Amazing how clearly other people’s sin issues stand out to us and with what clarity we can see the path they should take to remedy their sin.

Incredible how hard it can be to have the same conversation while looking in the mirror.

We can’t have it both ways. It can’t be that the Bible – the ENTIRE Bible – is only true for some people in some situations and not for ALL of us in ALL situations.

So, when we tell our gay friends that, with the power of Jesus, they can change but we excuse our own sin tendencies (to be critical or to gossip or to glance at the occasional porn site or give in to a short-fused temper or to be prayerless) as “just the way I am, I’ve tried to change but I guess that’s just me” then we are simply unbelieving hypocrites.

We either believe Jesus or we don’t, loved ones. Either nothing is impossible with God or some things are possible, while others are not. Which is it?

Jesus clearly stated His position in Matthew 19. Jesus remarked that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

The disciples, aghast at this proclamation, questioned Jesus. “Who, then, can be saved?”

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

With God all things are possible.

We believe this for other people. We tell it to others easily. When faced with stories that leave us feeling helpless, we repeat it as comfort for them . . .

but in the aftermath of our own angry conversations behind bedroom doors or when pulling away from family dinners plucking stinging barbs from our bleeding hearts, something in us cries out that nothing will ever change, our situation IS impossible.

Or when confronted with the repetitiveness of our own cherished sins (lustful eyes, critical tongue, lazy work, prayerless days, rebellious flings or self-righteous thoughts) we tell ourselves that SOME change is possible but changes long in coming or difficult to attain are perhaps, not, within the realm of Jesus’ words. Perhaps these are just inherited traits, warps of personality that will be with us until we die, permissible flaws that keep others from worrying that we are perfect.

Seriously. We need to knock it off.

When we enter into relationship with Jesus, we enter into a love relationship. We are forgiven, accepted, loved, and received by God. We are also given the power to change.

None of us will achieve perfection this side of heaven but that doesn’t mean we should excuse our sinful natures nor accept them. I’ve been in a relationship with Jesus since I was a little girl and I have not achieved perfection. There are sins I wrestle with daily.

BUT, I am NOT unchanged. There are sinful habits I have left behind thanks to the power of Jesus Christ. There are areas of my personality that are tempered and changed, thanks to the power of Jesus Christ. I am not the same person today that I was ten years ago, thanks to the power of Jesus Christ.

If we are telling others that if they repent of their sin and come to Jesus they can be changed BUT we are the same people we were ten years ago, then perhaps WE need a come-to-Jesus moment of our own!

We need to be changing and growing in Jesus Christ if we expect to bear witness to His power in this world. If nothing is impossible with God then that means we can find a way to overcome a critical spirit or a harsh tongue or a short temper or an unforgiving spirit. How can we have hope for those facing addiction, sexual sin, or unbelief if we don’t apply that hope to our own situations?

It’s a lie from hell to believe that as we become more like Christ, we will all look alike. It’s also a lie from hell to believe that a “tendency toward a certain sin” is so ingrained in us that it cannot change. I may have been cowardly from the womb but if Jesus says cowardice is a sin, then He can make me bold. Others may have been short-tempered or slow to forgive from as long as anyone can remember but they, too, can be changed by Christ.

My SIN nature is NOT who I am.

Sometimes, we’ve lived with certain sins for so long, it does feel like it’s a part of us. It feels like we’re losing something vital to our personalities. It only feels this way because holding on to sin cripples our imaginations and our perspective. When we are released from sin, a whole new world of possibilities opens up to us and we realize that who we ARE is sooooooo much more than what we originally imagined.
God has countless amazing ideas and one of them is YOU. By letting Jesus remove your sinful nature, you free His original idea to emerge and it’s a thing of beauty – I promise you this, loved ones.

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” James 1:22-24 The Message (MSG)
We will not disappear, like the wicked witch of the west, when the Living Water, that is Jesus, removes our sin. We will be changed and who we were meant to be will be revealed. That’s not scary, that’s beautiful.

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    The Conversation

  1. Lesley says:

    Excellent! Being from Iowa this topic is ever present. Great job flushing out the truth of the matter. Thanks Lori!

  2. Heather says:


    Great post! You are right on! I think too often, we either excuse our pet sins or give up trying to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Both, I believe, can be avoided when we live in intimate fellowship with other believers. In those intimate friendships, we can find grace when we fall, and we can get a kick in the right direction when we need a reminder to follow Jesus more closely. Sadly, I think these relationships are missing far too often. When we are isolated, it is so much easier to think that our sin is only minor, but everyone else’s is major. We need each other to grow in likeness to Christ. Your blog is part of that! Thanks.

  3. Very well said, Lori! I love reading your posts! Your compassion for people shines within your words, and you have such a way with presenting the truth of the gospel to your readers. I admire that!

    I love the NKJV of James 1:22…But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

    So many times we think we’re deceived by external sources, yet sometimes it’s simply us who are deceiving ourselves. Selfish deceit. It’s an interesting thought.