Can People Change?

im-op-hciiml-change-cartoon

Instead of pretending like I actually know something about anything like I usually do, I’m going to ask you a couple of few questions.

1. Can people change?

2. Are there certain things you believe a person can not come back from? What would that be?

3. Can you trust an instant change? Why or why not?

4. What would it take for you trust someone who has hurt you?

5. Kim and Kanye? Forever? Or forever and ever?

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17 comments on “Can People Change?

  1. Eric says:

    1. Yes. Confucius said, “Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”

    2. Most deeds cannot be undone, but the person themselves can always change.

    3. Most real change does not happen instantly, though it’s not impossible. Epiphanies help.

    4. Time.

    5. I’m sorry that I even know who that is. Were I a betting man, I’d bet against it.

  2. Shareen says:

    1.) People can/do and have to change. Even you aren’t the same person you were 6 months ago, 1 year ago, 5 years ago etc.
    2.) I think that trauma is trauma. There aren’t general guidelines for what a person can and can not come back from. I do think that with enough healthy communication and effort their journey back can be a bit more successful.
    3.) Instant change is usually easy come easy go.
    4.) For me to trust someone that’s hurt me, I would say it’s more what you would have to do than them. Sure you can make them jump through hoops, but if you don’t actually take the leap of faith to trust again, then its pointless.
    5.) Kimye? Hope so.

  3. 1. I think hardly anyone doesn’t change. And I fully believe they can initiate change, working towards an outcome they desire.
    2. I believe everything can be changed, but some things will be harder than other and harder when you get older and more set in your ways. We’re still talking psychologically, right?
    3. It depends on the person really. And on the change. I blame your broad questions. Someone who never changes and suddenly shows a whole different direction in their beliefs or, more convincing, their actions, is more believable than people that change every two weeks. I believe change has to come through a different way of acting.
    4. A big change. Shown, not said. A few years or months of patience. And maybe just moving to another country or self-mutilation. Either one. If someone cuts of their thumbs for my forgiveness, I tend to find that convincing enough.
    5. They’re basically like that old couple from UP. Just with a baby, now.

  4. Reblogged this on Alexandre Joly and commented:
    yes they can! anything is possible if you believe in it.

  5. AuthorChristopherLong says:

    Hi Sharideth,

    These are questions that I was contemplating just last night — a chilling coincidence!

    Yes, praise God, we ALL can change. And for us “believers,” there is nothing that we can’t come back from (that’s Biblical).

    As for trusting “instant change,” I would be compassionate, yet cautious.

    Kim and Kanye? Given their impeccable reps, I’d say that those kids are gonna make it!

    -Chris

  6. turnerbethany says:

    1. Yes, people definitely change.
    2. I don’t think it will always be rainbows and hearts, but yes, I do think in general people are able to come back from things.
    3. I always take an instant change with a grain of salt, but I think it really depends on the person and the situation.
    4. Time and actions to show they don’t want to hurt me again.
    5. Heck no.

  7. erakanksha says:

    1. Can people change? —– YES, DEFINATELY… DEPENDING ON CIRCUMSTANCES — THR CAN B POSITIVE / NEGATIVE CHANGE.

    2. Are there certain things you believe a person can not come back from? What would that be? —- YUP, THR R, SOME TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE, A LOSS TAT CAN’T B REPLACED, BETRAYAL IN RELATIONS ETC.

    3. Can you trust an instant change? Why or why not? —- NO, NOT ALWAYS… STRONG FOUNDATION NEEDS TIME & SO GOES WITH TRUSTING SOMETHING NEW.

    4. What would it take for you trust someone who has hurt you? —- TO SIT, DISCUSS, CLEAR THE MISUNDERSTANDINGS IF ANY … AND TO BE MORE CAUTIOUS FOR SOMETIME UNLESS U R VERY SURE TAT PERSON IS WORTHY 2 GIVE A SECOND CHANCE AND TRUST AGAIN…

    5. Kim and Kanye? Forever? Or forever and ever? — NOT APPLICABLE

  8. 1. Yes, it’s possible for people to change. But they need a reason, and something to replace what they’re removing (for instance, smokers often fail because they fail to find an alternative source for whatever they were getting from smoking). And they need to want to change.

    2. Ultimately, no. There’s nothing that we can point to and say that no one could ever come back from that. There are plenty of people that don’t make it back from something, but nothing that is absolutely unrecoverable for everyone.

    3. It depends on the source of the change, as well as the person changing. In most cases, we probably won’t grant instant trust. I have known a few people in whom God made such a complete change that the desire of their old habits vanished; it’s more often the exception than the rule, however.

    4. That would really be on a case by case basis.

    5. I predict a messy custody battle for the new house in their future.

  9. 1. Yes.
    2. No. I do think it’s a choice though. Can you bounce back/work through/come out of changes in life? Yes. Do you have to? I suppose not.
    3. I’m going to go with snickeringcorpses’ answer because I couldn’t articulate it myself.
    4. Again it would depend on the circumstances…Time, forgiveness, reconciliation.
    5. I think you meant to say “For-never and never.”

  10. 1. Yes they can and do.

    2.for 99.99% of people they can’t come back from their own death. I think you can come back from everything else, but there are some things that can be extremely difficult to come back from

    3. it is possible but unlikely, usually instant changes are not long lasting.

    4. Time, seeing that things have changed, there is a big element of hope in believing that they have changed and choosing to trust them again.

    5. do any celebrity/realty tv couples last? probably some bitter break up tweets in their future

  11. Joe H. says:

    1: Oh, absolutely. I think to a great extent that IS the gospel. I’m reminded of the Dante’s Divine Comedy where, in the very center of hell, Lucifer is frozen inside a block of ice. For him there will be no for changing. Thankfully for the rest of us and by the grace of God, true transformation is really possible.

    2: A broad question. What does “come back from” mean? It’s clearly true that we can’t change or undo things that have happened, but I think it’s very possible to change the meaning of what happened, or how we experience that past moment in the present.

    3: That seems a rather odd question to me. Ultimately if I put my trust in another person then my trust will be broken, because the person I’m trusting in is also broken. But if my trust is truly in God then I can rest in the knowledge that, instantaneous or agonizingly slowly, He’s at work in their lives. And if they belong to Him He will bring His work in them to completion.

    As for instantaneous change, it clearly can happen. We learn many traumas and phobias almost instantly and those can and do change us. Why can’t change happen in the other direction too?

    4: A heart that trusts in God rather than myself for my emotional safety. Repentance that leads to real evidence of transformation on their part (and maybe mine too).

    5: Ugh. For their sake I hope so.

  12. I just need to butt in, here.

    1. No. I do not believe that people can change. I’ll say it again: people can’t change. They can hide things and put a mask on and paint a pretty picture on top, but they cannot change. BUT. People can BE changed.
    2. In following the logic of my previous statement, there is nothing Grace cannot forgive or remove from you. But the Grace of God does not wipe away consequences in this world. There are some things that cannot be “come back from” in terms of societal repercussions.
    3. Change that is instant and MAINTAINED, absolutely.
    4. From experience, a lot of time and lack of further injury during that period.
    5. Kim and Kanye 5ever

    • You make me think with your answer to #1. I was interpreting the question along the lines of behavior, and I have certainly been successful at changing how I process information and how I behave. I’ve learned to view the actions of and interact with certain people differently than I had in the past. I’m not hiding anything, etc.

      My question to you is do you mean people don’t fundamentally change? In that case, I agree – I haven’t changed, just my behavior and viewpoint have changed. Or do you mean that we can’t change ourselves, that only God can change who we are deep down? Or both? 🙂

  13. 1. Yes, absolutely.
    2. I think there are some people who can’t come back. But for every horrible thing you can imagine, there will have been at least one person strong enough or determined enough (or unaware enough) to overcome it.
    3. That would be on a case by case basis. You could if the circumstances seemed to support a sudden change. For example: near death experience or realizing what you could lose if you don’t change. In reality, even “sudden” change is an ongoing process and we don’t fully see what the person might be struggling through to maintain those changed behaviors. As far as sudden changes to opinions – definitely. People drastically change their opinions all the time.
    4. I don’t know. Remorse, prolonged positive behaviors… Trusting someone with your heart is hard enough already.
    5. For now.

    Great questions!

  14. […] Can People Change? – Sherideth asks 5 questions about change and redemption (interesting answers in the comments) […]

  15. Jayce says:

    I disagree with the question, “Can People Change?”. It seems to forward the belief that there are “bad” people and “good” people. We are not our mistakes. We all want to be judged by our intentions yet judge others by the outcome. People misbehave because they, for whatever reason, do not find themselves capable or aware of a smarter action at that time. If anything, their poor choice is evidence of a failing on the part of all of us to recognize the real reasons behind bad behavior.

    From Wikipedia:

    “…in the biblical Hebrew, the generic word for sin is het. It means to err, to miss the mark. It does not mean to do evil.”

    Sin just meant to make a mistake. To do something dumb, or counterproductive. Not ‘to be bad.’

    I personally know how remarks like, “You’ll never change.”, “People don’t change!” feel. They hurt. I was told things like these as a child and guess what? I didn’t change my behaviour. I was “bad” & that was that, right? The thing is I never felt “Bad”. I just felt like me. I’m supposed to change who I am?
    Then one day someone looked in my eyes, hugged me for an awkwardly uncomfortably long time and whispered, “You don’t have to change. You are wonderful exactly as you are. I’m sorry no one told you this before. If your choices are causing you & people you love pain simply make different choices next time”. I cried & I did.

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