“Can an African change skin? Can a leopard get rid of its spots? So what are the odds on you doing good, you who are so long-practiced in evil?”

Jeremiah 13:23 MSG

I’ll bet you didn’t know that verse was in the Bible!

In context, God is in the middle of a rebuke of the nation of Israel. He’s coming down hard on them because they’ve turned their backs on Him so many times. Sound familiar? Sin is so frustrating and often feels completely out of control.

In answer to God’s question to Jeremiah, the odds aren’t good. In fact, they’re really bad odds. For people like us (every human being who has ever lived), who were born with sin inside and all around, the odds of us doing good after being “so long-practiced in evil” aren’t good. The odds are about as good as an African (or anyone for that matter) changing his skin or a leopard getting rid of its spots. God answers His own question in Psalm 14.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!

Psalm 14:2–3 (NLT)

It’s easy for us to focus on “being good” and living morally. We love check boxes, reading plans, and to-do lists because checking something off makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something. But nobody, on their own, apart from God, “no one does good, not a single one!”

Change doesn’t happen because we’re good on our own. Change happens when we lean on God’s strength in our weakness. When we are weak, He is strong. Don’t try to change on your own – get to know Jesus better and He’ll start cleaning you up!

K E V I N • M I L L E R

Make sure to pass this on to someone who could use some encouragement!

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