And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. Acts 9:21-22
I have heard it said a zebra can’t change its stripes or a leopard its spots. Or that an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In other words, people are who they are, they don’t change. But through God, all things are possible. He can create a leopard with a houndstooth pattern or a zebra with squiggles if He wants. He can cause a mighty wind to pick up the apple and carry it hundreds of miles. He can and does change people.
Perhaps the hardest people to convince about Jesus is the ones who knew us beforehand. The ones who remember all the things we did or said and like to bring it up now and again. Maybe, they are old hang-out buddies who can’t understand why you don’t want to participate in those things anymore. Maybe it is a sibling with whom you never quite got along. Perhaps, they are people at work who are used to the old grouchy stressed out you. They see a change and want to believe it is a phase – a temporary thing that will wear off.
But, like Saul, your new life will make your stronger. The old temptations won’t pull you as much. The more your new ways become habit and the old fade away, the more Christ-like you become, the more the caterpillar becomes the butterfly, people will take notice. Don’t lose heart. Eventually, your life will be proof that Jesus Christ is Lord. God will have changed your stripes! You are indeed a new creature.