We all have made declarations to others that we have changed. But then we go back to our old ways. Others began to tire of hearing us proclaim change, and their belief in our sincerity wanes. However, there have been times when our words were no longer empty, frivolous, or premature. It becomes apparent: we don’t just want to change—we need to change. But how can we convince others that our vow to change is no longer an empty promise?
I remember a person telling me what happened in court when the Judge was about to sentence her to jail instead of drug treatment. And it was understood by everyone that he was within his discretion. After all, His Honor had exercised considerable leniency towards the young lady for her past drug charges; but she never changed. She kept coming before his bench under the same circumstances. This time, however, he was absolutely going to sentence her to jail because she continued to use drugs, despite knowing the consequences.
Prior to announcing his decision, as judges always do, he reminded her of how many times he’d tolerated her irresponsible behavior. Then, just before he pronounced sentence, he asked her to give him a good reason why he shouldn’t send her to jail. The troubled young lady knew, this time, she was ready to change. But she also knew she had made—and broken—that promise before this same court, countless times. How could she now convince him she truly believed this was her time to change or die (or at the very least be jailed)?
She looked straight at the judge, opened her mouth and began to sing the song—a song that fit the moment perfectly; a song many of us from the last two generations know very well. The judge was stunned, and so were everyone in the courtroom. For one thing, she could actually sing. But, most of all, there was the shock that she seriously, defended herself in song without a drop of shame. The man shook his head, and told her he never had anyone serenade him in court. He went on to say he was convinced she understood and believed the words she sang. Completely satisfied with the young lady’s conviction, he gave her a last chance, sentencing her to mandatory drug treatment instead of jail.
Sometimes we have to do whatever we can to demonstrate that we are committed to change. Oh, and the song she sang? You can play it below...
And this is Truly Said™.
The Sword: Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (Matthew 3:8, KJV)
The Application: God expects us to demonstrate actions of repentance and change. Actions speak louder than words.