Q: Do you really think it's possible for people to change?
For example, some people just seem to be naturally selfish, and no matter what you try to teach them, they'll never really change. Maybe they'll change in small ways, but not their basic personalities.
A: God made us, and He made every one of us different from every other person who has ever lived. I'm thankful for this; think how dull the world would be if we were all exactly alike!
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But does this mean we can never change? Does it mean even God can't change us? No, of course not. I think, for example, of the Apostle Peter, who was one of Jesus' closest followers. When we first meet him in the Gospels, he is brash, emotional, boastful and given to outbursts that lack wisdom and sound judgment. It was Peter who solemnly declared he would never deny Jesus, and yet three times after Jesus' arrest he told bystanders he didn't even know Jesus (see John 18).
Was that the end for Peter? No, not at all. After Jesus' resurrection, he boldly preached that Jesus was the Messiah, sent from God to save us from our sins. And in Peter's letters, written toward the end of his life, we discover a man who's no longer brash or lacking wisdom, but mature, wise and stable.
What made the difference? The difference came from Peter's walk with Christ -- learning from Him, changed by Him, obedient to Him. And the same can happen to us, as we yield ourselves to Christ and learn to follow Him every day. It happened to Peter, and it will happen to you, as you "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 877 2-GRAHAM, or go to billygraham.org.