Can Ethiopians change their skin or leopards their spots? Jeremiah 13:23
Change doesn’t come easy. Some have given in to the devilish idea that a person cannot change. What one is is destined and there is no power to change.
People in Jeremiah’s day felt the same way. We have little or no power to change the direction of our lives and we should just accept the way we are and make the best of it. What a defeatist attitude. Human beings become like a dog with instincts or a lemming that cannot help but rush into the nearest ocean and drown.
“Choose you this day whom you will serve” says Joshua to his people. He understood that men were created with the freedom to choose. What we choose, we are accountable for the choices we make. Accountability makes no sense when there is no choice.
We often complain of living powerless, of living by the expectations of others and being prevented by external circumstances from making real change. “Since I was a child I have felt” (You fill in the rest). I was born with Ethiopian skin and I cannot change. I have the spots of a leopard and I have no hope of change. Look again at the verse from Jeremiah. Can Ethiopians change their skin or leopards their spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil. (NRSV)
We are not passive victims of life. We do make choices. We do have the power to change the major directions of our lives. We struggle and we fight and we make better choices then the outcome will be better.