FEW of us like to admit that we have outstanding weaknesses. How true the lines from the Scottish poet Robert Burns: “O would some power the gift give us to see ourselves as others see us”!* Yes, we find it easy to spot faults in others and may be quick to offer advice to show them how to improve. But any suggestion that we ourselves need to change our behavior may offend us. Would it offend you?
Let us stop for a moment and imagine a perfect world where everyone is clean, healthy, happy, and honest; where even those in authority are kind and considerate, interested in doing good for others; where there is no greed, and no one exploits his fellow man; where children are obedient to warm, caring parents; where there are no outbursts of temper—no violence, no crime, no immorality; where people are trusting and pleasant by nature; where life can be enjoyed with a sense of security and well-being.
Can you see yourself fitting into a world like that, if such a Utopian world could ever exist? Well, the good news from the Bible is that such a world is coming to this earth soon. So now the important question is: Do you have any behavioral traits that would disqualify you from fitting into such an idyllic community? How hard, do you think, would it be worth trying to qualify for life in such a paradise?—Isaiah 65:17-25; 2 Peter 3:13.
Even now, before such a new world comes, could your life be improved if you did something about your behavior and attitude? If so, why not change? It is possible to do so. Remember, specific influences shaped and molded your behavior in the first place, so by taking more control and interest, it is possible for you to reshape your behavior even now.
However, you may still protest: ‘But can I really change? I’ve tried before, many times, and failed. I am just the way I am, and there is nothing I can do about it!’
Consider Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ. (Romans 7:18-21) Paul changed from being a violent, self-righteous opposer of Christians and became a Christian himself. He changed because he really wanted to. He did not give up because of setbacks or genetic influences. He did not believe that his old personality was set in concrete. It took much effort on his part. But he received a lot of help.—Galatians 1:13-16.
Where did this help come from?
In the original: “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us to see oursels as others see us!”—The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.