We Can’t Change People—and Why That’s Good News

Mez McConnell | June 3, 2017


Why are so many in my church just not changing?

Why do some grow quickly and move ahead in the Christian life, while others drift or always seem stuck in neutral? Why do two young addicts profess faith, get involved in church life, have the same discipleship opportunities, and gain new friendships—and yet one flounders while the other flourishes?

At Niddrie Community Church we have a comprehensive discipleship program for new believers. Yet many still crumble when intense temptation comes their way. What’s the problem? And what can be done about it?

Replace, Don’t Just Remove

The answer lies in the heart. We know Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” We also know from Mark 7:21 that the heart is the root of all bad behavior. Verse after verse points to our hearts when tracing our sin problem. The famous Scottish preacher Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847), in his famous sermon “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection,” hits the target:

Seldom do any of our habits or flaws disappear by a process of extinction through reasoning or by the mere force of mental determination. Reason and willpower are not enough. But what cannot…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/we-cant-change-people-why-thats-good-news.