Too old for change?
Adults cannot change their mental makeup. They have become set in behavior patterns and character traits and simply must accept this. True?
This rigid concept can be proved groundless if we undertake the Bible challenge to "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." n1
n1 Ephesians 4:24;
What is Godlike man? Mary Baker Eddy n2 gives this definition of man: "The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind." n3
n2 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 591;
God-created man is ageless. He is not subject to immaturity and decline. He lives in the immortal now, expressing intelligence, wisdom, perfect action -- pure Godlikeness.
This perfect man is the true nature of each of us. As we comprehend and live it, our human character is altered for the better.
The Apostle Paul proved that adults can "put on the new man." Known first as SAul, he terrorized the infant Christian Church and aggressively promoted "threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord." But a tremendous influx of inspiration on his way to Damascus -- inspiration so intense it temporarily blinded him -- changed Paul's direction completely, and he began to preach Christianity. At first the followers of Christ Jesus could not believe that Saul had changed so totally, but they eventually accepted him as genuine. n 4 Saul had become Paul.
n4 See Acts 9:1-31;
Through our own conversion experiences, our times of deep inspiration and vision of God's power, we too can begin to part with the hatefulness or bad habits that keep us from giving all we can to mankind.
The more we get to know man as "the compound idea of infinite Spirit," the less we will regard ourselves and others as fixed combinations of good and evil that cannot be changed after a person has reached a certain age. And the clearer we hold the view of ourselves and our fellow beings as God's children, the more the people we come in touch with will respond.
After I had been in a new job for a few months, prizes were given to those who had specially contributed to the success of this business. To my surprise I received an award. As far as I knew, I hadn't done anything in the short time to qualify. So I inquired. The secretary of the committee that had made the recommendations hesitated, then said, "Well, if you must know, it's because we all like you. Having you around makes this office a better place to work."
I was pleased by puzzled. Others had always told me I was spoiled and had strong likes and dislikes, supposedly typical for an only child. And I believed , "That's me."
But previous to this new job I had begun the study of Christian Science. The Bible words" All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" n5 had stood out to me. And I realized now the "reproof," "correction," and "instruction" I had gained through my study.
n5 II Timothy 3:16, 17.
Instead of picking out whom I would like or dislike among my colleagues, I had taken an interest in them all. Moreover I had avoided gossip and negative criticism. The result proved to me that putting on the new man is not an impossible ideal, but a real possibility.
When an undesirable trait clings, it may stem from the subtle suggestion that "it runs in the family." But because we are in reality God's children, we can claim freedom from so-called inherited faults.
We are never too old to change. Whether we are 10 or 100, it's worthwhile to know ourselves as God's perfect child.
The impact this correct concept can have on our life and on the lives of others can be tremendous! DAILY BIBLE VERSE We faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. II Corinthians 4:16