I have constant discussions about this with a friend who insists that people can’t change. I say yes and he says no. That’s a picture of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by the way. This reminds me of the story about the light bulb and how many psychiatrists are needed to change it. The answer is only if the light bulb wants to change in the first place.
As a Christian, I believe so but it involves the work of the Holy Spirit for permanent change. We also have this gift called free will. And that is the decision to want to change. I always believed that one of my “gifts” is the ability to be witty. This “wittiness” if not monitored becomes sarcasm.
The realization came for me at a talk about what sarcasm can do. In a nutshell, It hurts people’s feelings. In a crowd, the sarcastic person gets a couple of laughs and feels like a hero and the “victim” probably laughs along but trust you me, I have probably scarred some people along the way. I have hurt my nearest and dearest because of this.
Words can kill and maim or they can heal and bring life. I have chosen to be someone who does the latter. Is it an easy process? Change is never easy but I am more conscious of shutting my mouth if there is nothing nice to say. It’s not about not speaking your mind but it’s about speaking the truth with graciousness and choosing my words wisely.
For those who choose to use words to kill or maim and we know these people, don’t we intend to avoid them? I also make it a point to surround myself with people who encourage me. I have also had real friends who have admonished me if I have done something wrong but it comes from a place of goodness. Discern the company you keep.
In the book “Necessary Endings” by Dr Henry Cloud, he talks of rose bushes and buds that needed to be trimmed only to grow back more fully and beautifully. I would like to think I’m a rose bush that is constantly being trimmed.