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Sick Puppies, St. Paul, and True Change

I love the song “Maybe” by Sick Puppies. In it they talk about struggling with despair, doubt, and being a misunderstood dreamer that wants things to be different. The chorus has an upbeat melody and says, “Maybe it’s time to change/ And leave it all behind.”

I think we all want to believe things can change. We all want our lives to be different. We see things in the world around us and wish they were different. The world is a cruel place. We are cruel people.

Here’s the bad news, though. We can’t do it. You can’t change. Sure, you can change a behavior. You can stop drinking too much, but you can’t fix the problem that made you drink too much. You can stop kicking the dog, but you can’t fix the anger.

You can’t do it. You’re broken. And, as I talked about last time, the rules we try to make for ourselves only serve to show us how broken we really are.

We all do evil. We do evil because we are born broken.This is our identity. Your sin doesn’t make you a sinner. You sin because you are a sinner. You’re stuck that way. You can’t choose good.

Maybe it’s time to change? I’ve said that about 150,000 times and there hasn’t been much change. Maybe I can’t change. Maybe the world will always be the same. Maybe the brokenness won’t get fixed. I certainly can’t fix it. I know it’s true. You know it too.

Enter Christ. Christians say that he made the change we couldn’t. He did it for the entire creation. He did it for me. He did it for all who will trust in him.

People in Christ have had an identity shift. It has been huge. It has forever changed who they are.

Listen to how St. Paul explains his sin: “It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”

Do you see what he’s saying? He has had an incredible identity shift. Instead of being a sinner who does evil because he is evil, he is a saint who sins sometimes. He is a holy person that slips up. It isn’t the true self who is evil. Sin dwells in him, but isn’t his core identity.

This shift doesn’t make the battle against evil easy. At times, it becomes so difficult that we cry out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” However, the identity shift does make the battle winnable. We have been changed. We are not slaves to evil. When we do evil, that evil is not what flows out of our core identity. Our core identity is holy, righteous, and one with Christ.

Now, we can win.

Now, we can change, because we have been changed. Our nature has been changed. At the core of our being, we find the righteousness of Christ our Lord.

Many of us have found ourselves enslaved to various addictions, evil behavior, and harmful habits. In Christ, there has been an identity shift. Now, we really can change because God has made us new and is making us new.

God takes our brokenness, kills it on the cross, and gives us back his righteousness.

Maybe it’s time to change.

 

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