I’ve always wondered about the saying a zebra never changes it stripes and why it is often referred to people who try to change. Now, I would think that a zebra’s stripes wouldn’t change because if they did then it wouldn’t be considered a zebra right? But if a man or woman changes their ways does that make them turn into something other than a man or woman? The answer would be no because their physical appearance wouldn’t change (unless they had plastic surgery) but their mind should and in changing their mind, their actions should change. You should be able to see a change in them by the way they walk, talk, dress and feel. The change I am referring to is a mental change on the inside and not a physical change that money can buy.
Let me explain. You’re a man who finds laughter in the belittling of your wife. You can never give her a compliment so instead you give her an insult. When she asks you how she looks in her dress, you laugh and say she would look better if she dropped a few pounds. She asked you how was dinner and you say it was better when your momma cooked it. Now, you may have been raised by your dad that way or there was probably not a man around to teach you how to treat a woman but I’m here to tell you that just because you don’t give her a compliment, doesn’t mean she isn’t getting one. That dress and perfume she asked you about when you weren’t paying her any attention caught the eyes of her co-worker who happens to step in just when she is feeling low. That dinner you hate so much, someone else will find pleasure in enjoying it. The affection you’ve seemed to have forgotten to show, someone else will find joy in taking your place. Someone else will find a treasure in the one you’ve treated like trash and taken for granted. Yea, she probably has stuck with your lowdown butt for 20 years, but the door still opens to go out. So, you may want to read God’s word that says He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD (Proverbs 18:22). So you might want to change if she is longer affected by the insults and the lack of what she needs from you because that means that she has changed.
You’re a son or daughter whose mother takes care of your every need. No, let me rephrase. You’re a grown son or daughter whose mother takes care of your every need. You moved out of her house but she still stops by to clean, cook and do your laundry from time to time. When she is out shopping she picks up things she think you may need. You don’t know how to take care of your own space because she has never allowed you to learn things like making up your bed or cleaning a kitchen or bathroom. She bails you out when you get in trouble and she gives you extra money when you want to hang out with your friends. She even accepted the fact that college wasn’t for you even after she wasted the money on your tuition. When she calls you for a favor, you got your mouth stuck out. Because she woke you up at 10 on Saturday to ask you to cut her grass or go pay a bill for her, you got the nerve to get an attitude. When she needs a little extra money for groceries you tell your friends that she is always begging. When she was telling you that girl or guy wasn’t any good for you but you married him/her anyway only to be divorced a year later, you’ll wished you had listened. Baby, I can promise you that momma won’t always be there. It may seem like all will be ok when she is gone, but wake up the day after she dies and tell me if you feel the same. Those small things that you took for granted will have you wishing 100 times for another chance to apologize to momma. Those moments when you didn’t appreciate her will have you sobbing in a corner like a baby after she is gone. Yes, it’s a mother’s job to take care and nourish their children but you as children also have a commitment. Deuteronomy 5:16 say “Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” So, you might want to change if you act like a spoiled brat even though you are over 30. Trust me, it isn’t a good look.
You’ve been working on your job for what seems like forever. You’re older now and don’t like change. You didn’t like your old boss and you don’t like the new one. With every change comes lip and attitude from you. When you walk into the meeting, folks rolled their eyes because they know you are coming in with some mess. You always complain about this and you complain about that and you get up every morning, get dressed, and drive away from your home only to come into a place that is causing you so much Hell. Other folks aren’t seeing the same things you complain about so you call them crazy. You go home gripping to your spouse and/or kids about your day never once giving them an opportunity to get a word in about their day. You keep saying you’re going to find another job but you know deep down inside that no one will hire your crazy tail. You come & go as you please from your current job, call in when you want, never complete the assignments given and always argue with coworkers and you think you need a new job. Chile, you have yet to realize that you’re the problem. You bring the damper to the workplace but you’re quick to say moral is down. No, it’s not the morale that needs to be raised but it’s your butt from your seat that needs to be. Be careful who you tell your woes too because they may be the one signing your pink slip. Proverbs 18:24 say “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Yea, you may want to change if you stopped getting invitations to anything from co-workers a long time ago.
You may want to change if you party, drink and smoke every day because one of these days that body that you are destroying won’t last. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.” (1 Corinthians 6:19) Now, God didn’t say don’t drink because 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” But it doesn’t say get drunk, talk stupid, fight folk, destroy relationships and not be able to work because a man that don’t work is not supposed to eat. Well, that’s what the bible says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10. When you make a change in any aspect of your life, for the better, you tend to lose folk. I didn’t say you lose friends because if they were true friends they would want better for you and will gladly welcome the change.
You might want to change if you can hardly breathe but you’re still smoking. Yea, you’ve heard people say that you can get lung cancer even if you don’t smoke but honey you are surely increasing your chances. You might want to change if you can barely walk from the weight that you’re carrying but still spending 6 days for 2 hours each at a buffet. That’s why your blood pressure is up and you can’t see your feet. Yea, I know that obesity runs in your family but can’t you break the curse? All it takes is a 30 minute walk and changing your eating habits. You might want to change if trouble and gossiping don’t start until you come around because you may be the one bringing it.
Changing your ways won’t kill you. It may make you look better but it won’t kill you. If every time you go out and you’re the loudest most embarrassing person in the bunch, you might just want to change. No one is telling you this because they are scared to hurt your feelings but this is why no one wants to hang out anymore. They are hanging out just without you. If you are always begging and never offer or is even there to help when other folks need, you might just want to change because this is the reason your call is being ignored. If every time you do something for somebody or the Pastor asks you to lead a task and you boast and brag about it for months afterwards, you might want to change because this is the reason why folk stop calling you. If every time we talk as friends and you spread my business faster than windshield wipers in rain then you might just want to change because this is why we don’t talk anymore. If every time I come around you have to talk about my personal appearance to make yourself look good, you might just want to change because this is the reason I don’t stop by anymore.
You may like the person that you have become with your mean & nasty ways, comments of negativity and dirty looks but it doesn’t mean I have too. If thanksgiving use to be at your house and folk couldn’t wait to get there and now everyone has plans, you might just want to take a moment to reflect over yourself because sometimes it will put you in the place you need to be. If I tell you something about you that you do and it makes you look ugly, if I am a true friend, then you should welcome the criticism. Stop getting mad every time someone says something. You knew that hair color was wrong before you left the salon so don’t get mad at me for saying it. You knew your shoes were too little when you paid too much for them so don’t get mad at me for saying it. You knew that boy wasn’t baby daddy or husband material when you laid down with him so don’t get mad at me for saying it. You knew that girl was a garden tool when you took her home, so don’t get mad at me for saying it. Yes, criticism sometimes hurt but if it is coming from the heart of a true friend then it should be received gladly. If you know you need to change then ask God to “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)” For it will be then that your change would not be in vain.