Once in awhile, a topic or issue comes up so much in my life that I feel I must talk or write about it, just to process it. Have you ever heard someone say, in the defense of a certain behavior, "that's just how I am!"? Or have you ever been the one to say it? Here are some examples of phrases I've heard, "I'm just a blunt person, if people get their feelings hurt, it's their problem, they just don't want to face the truth." Or, "I just don't like conflict, so I'll just ignore the person until the problem disappears, that's just how I handle things." There are countless other phrases I can think of, "I'm not a trouble maker, I just have a bad temper" or "I'm not lazy, I'm just not domestic or my bosses are difficult" but you get the idea. And believe me, I'm preaching to the choir! Isn't it amazing how quick we are to blame someone else or some unchangeable quality in us for the behaviors we don't want to change? If we convince ourselves that it isn't broken, then we don't need to fix it, right! So I've been thinking about this concept of the difference between who we are and what we choose to do, and this is what I'm coming to. I think far too often, we blame a practice, a behavior, a life style, on a supposed personality characteristic, our genetic make-up as it were as a cop out to continue in, and feel okay about, that behavior without a need for growth. Because after all, how can someone expect us to change the essence of who we are? But I would propose that we are far more changeable than we want to admit. After all, for those of us who have received the Lord, we are a new creation, "the old has gone, the new has come!" And is there ANYTHING God can't do in us?! Amen! So where am I going with this? Just right to the heart hopefully, mine included. Sure we all have certain bents or struggles that are different than those of others. Someone who's naturally verbal may have a harder time biting their tongue, for instance, but are they any less responsible for the words that come out of their mouth simply because they have a harder time with it? Of course not! But this in no way means that we should be any harder on ourselves, especially as woman, than we already are. The Lord knows we already live under far too many umbrellas of inadequacy than we should. But what I'm suggesting is that we own up to what our struggles REALLY are. Don't call apples bananas! I would propose that it is nothing short of a clever plot of the evil one to convince us that our sharp tongue, or laziness, or insecurity, or whatever the case may be is simply an eternal part of "who we are". We are people in process, always needing growth, being sanctified. We will never "arrive", and we're not supposed to here on earth, so we also need to give ourselves and others the Grace we've been given, amen!. But we ARE supposed to grow, so let's not be stagnant, believing the lie that we can't, nor should we try to change. Vulnerability is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others! It's not going to be easy to admit where we need to change, nor is going to be easy to do the changing, but as I've always believed, anything worth anything often treads the most difficult path. But thank goodness we don't have to do it alone! And God even promises to carry us when it gets too hard, to be our strength, our everything. So the victory belongs to Him! Bottom line, let's start calling apples, apples so we can be refined into all that God has called us to be. That's my opinion, take it for what it's worth.