Monday, May 7, 2012

Let People Change

I established in my last post the rule of Siranoush:  Siranoush is Siranoush.  People are who they are and I can’t change them (try as I might).  We can’t change others; we can only change ourselves.  But what if people do change themselves – how quick are we to accept them?

In Sunday school yesterday we studied Rahab the prostitute.  She took in two spies sent by Joshua to scope the land.  She hid them, protected them, and in return, asked them to spare her life and her family’s lives when the Israelites took over the land.  Although she was an Amorite living in a vile, evil culture, she acknowledged God and feared Him (“For the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath”).  The spies kept their word and spared her and her family when everything and everyone else was destroyed.  Rahab went on to marry Salmon, a descendant of Abraham.  Her son was Boaz, who married Ruth.  Jesus was a direct descendant of Rahab the prostitute.

Rahab is mentioned twice in the New Testament, in both Hebrews and James, for her faith.  In both accounts, she is noted as “Rahab the prostitute.”  Poor lady can’t get a break!  She risked her life to save the spies, and yet the negative moniker remains to this day.

Obviously this is for our benefit – God uses broken, fault-filled sinners for His purpose.  We are all worthy of His love, and we can all be used for greatness, despite our poor life choices.  It’s also a reminder to keep our pride in check.  We’re not better than anyone else.  We’re not better than prostitutes.  We’re all sinners.  We all deserve death.  We are all saved by God’s grace if we choose to believe.  The cross is for everyone.

Sometimes I don’t want to accept that people have changed.  I don’t want to believe that they’re different – better – than they used to be.  I hold their past against them.  Shame on me.

I often say that I’m glad I’m not who I was 20 years ago.  We shouldn’t be the same now as we were a decade or two ago.  We should constantly be growing, improving, maturing, developing and refining ourselves.  We’re still sinners regardless, but we should be a work in progress with our eyes straining upward, our arms reaching outward, and our minds stretching Wordward.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

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