Wednesday, November 18, 2009

But I Just Can't Change!

Enjoy this guest post from Katherine Swarts and visit her website to let her know you saw her on the Christian Daily Blog!

Photo Courtesy morgueFileDo you believe that the Bible is truthful?

Does that include the passages that say you “can do everything” through Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13, NIV) and that “no temptation has seized you except what is common” to humanity (1 Corinthians 10:13)?

You don't fully believe it if you say, “I can't get rid of my temper/worrying/unclean thoughts—what works for others never works for me!”

I know—the temptation to do so can be practically irresistible. I’ve spent much of my own life whining aout how unfair it is that I have to live with this temperament combined with these circumstances. Implying that my bad attitudes are God’s fault for having made me—and arranged my life—the way He did.

Even once we accept that God knows better than we do, we still complain about the difficulty of changing for the better. Like six-year-olds screaming, “I’ll never learn to ride this bike!!!,” we howl at every fall. We demand instant and easy perfection. We threaten to quit trying if God doesn't change us faster.

And He, ever the understanding Parent, keeps a supporting hand on us and bears with us patiently until we finally learn.

Assuming we don't actually give up. Perhaps when Jesus advised us to “become like little children,” one thing He had in mind was that with children, persistence ultimately wins over frustration. No toddler gives up on learning to walk, however frequent the falls along the way. Few six-year-olds really abandon their bikes permanently. But give children ten years to “grow up,” and a surprising number drop each new venture with the first failure: “I tried, and I can't do it.”

In Christian growth, perhaps the ugliest four-letter word is “can't.” It implies God is too weak to lead us to victory.


Katherine Swarts is founder and owner of Spread the Word Commercial Writing, a copywriting service based in Houston, Texas. Visit her devotional/poetry blog at

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