People rarely change, and apart from God I believe change is impossible.
Like all things our memories work against us. Time begins to mythologize the past, making exaggerations out of minor variation.
However, at the same time people are like sediment. Our characteristic and personality traits layer themselves in our lives, and over time they settle and stratify. Characteristics that were once on the top of who we were may sink a few layers. While other traits which were hidden a few layers deep rise to the top.
This is effect is seen when someone turns to you, a spouse or close friend perhaps, and says, “you’re not the same person I knew… you’ve a different person.”
You begin to think, “Have I really changed? Am I not the same person?”
You sit and think, “Did I not have these same likes or dislikes before? Did I never get mad or upset? Was I always romantic and never critical? Did I not like certain thinks to happen a certain way?
The issue occurs on two levels. One is that our memories reshape themselves into something other than reality. But the other issue is that we become comfortable with who we are. We allow our layers to settle, and in the process layers shift, join and resize. Parts of us we use to have under control, and keep deep in us, slowly rise to top. Personalities traits we you’d never let anyone see, begin to become visible. And others response to this is “You’re a different person!”
Yet, in reality, your not a different person, but you’ve let comfort and lack of self-control reshape how you express yourself.
Now, returning to what I said at the beginning. People rarely change, and that apart from God I believe change is impossible. What I mean by saying that people rarely change is not that people characterizes don’t stratify, and make extremes. No, we just talked about how this happens, and it can happen quickly. What I mean by change is real change. Truly becoming someone they are not.
I believe in the Biblical narrative. So my foundation is that man is fallen, sinful and totally depraved. This means that man’s foundation is not good, but rather sinful. So as man in by natural progression will only grow more sinful. Some men choose of their own effort to continually sift themselves as not to stratify, others don’t.
However, when one surrenders their life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes along side of that person and begins to regenerate that person. Truly making them someone they are not! For the first time qualities that were never present will be present. Real, actual, quantitative life change will be seen.
In both cases stratifying is still possible. When the Christina stops searching himself, and letting the Holy Spirit sift through his life and thoughts layers settle, and old habits and traits reform.
The life in the Spirit is one that challenges us to sift and be searched by God. Walk and be lead by the Spirit. We are a new creation, but is become too comfortable the old man is ready to show up again.